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Editorial - Did the administrators at Stafford Hospital listen?

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 19, 2013

By Editor

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SO at last we have the long-awaited news on the future of Stafford Hospital. The Trust Special Administrators in their draft report published in the summer unveiled a package of recommendations, which many said would leave the town flailing and lives at risk.

The loss of maternity services, a full time accident and emergency and paediatric inpatient services inevitably sparked outrage.

The administrators, despite concerns from some campaigners that it was already a done deal, promised they would listen to the people of Stafford, Stone and Rugeley and take those views into account. The public meetings that followed were packed out and heated.

And this week administrators said they had listened and therefore announced a midwife-led maternity unit would remain, some paediatric services but no overnight care for our children, and some form of critical care unit.

Was this really because they had listened to what the public wanted?

Local campaigners beg to differ, saying if indeed they had listened, the administrators would have announced the retention of all services, including a consultant-led maternity unit.

When MP Jeremy Lefroy says the recommendations are progress but not enough and borough council leader Mike Heenan dubs them nothing more than a downgrade, it is time to act.

With the huge growth in population expected in the next few years the town needs its hospital more than ever. Not just a token effort which in the long-term might not be sustainable.

As the Support Stafford Hospital group have declared: The fight continues.

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