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We will 'exhaust every avenue' in fight to retain acute services, says Stafford council boss

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 18, 2013

By Robin Scott

1164877-M3_np210910--Mike Heenan
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STAFFORD’S council leader has said plans to downgrade the town’s hospital are ‘not acceptable’ and sword to ‘exhaust every avenue’ in the fight to retain acute services.

Following the publication final report by of administrators on the future of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust’s, Stafford Borough Council leader Mike Heenan told the Newsletter the fight would continue.

“We are in a better position today than we were some months ago when the consultation got underway and it is clear the administrators have in some small way listened to the voice of the Stafford Borough community,” said councillor Heenan. “But they haven’t listened carefully enough.

“This latest announcement is not acceptable.

“We are a growing borough and these recommendations are selling Stafford short.

“We shall not be resting on our laurels until we have exhausted every avenue in the fight to retain a full paediatric service, a consultant led maternity unit and the necessary critical care delivered at our hospital.”

Mr Heenan said with the proposals now due to go before healthcare regulator Monitor and Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, the borough council would be wasting no time in lobbying to ensure key services were retained.

“If he doesn’t know already, then he will do very shortly, that this town and the communities our hospital serve will not accept the downgrading of services as set out in this new report.

“It was earlier this year that some were handing the last rights to our hospital but more recent reports show an institution well on the road to recovery,” he said. “Most importantly patients are now speaking positively about their hospital.”

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