BOSSES at Stafford Hospital have called a special meeting today to decide what to do about continuing nursing shortages.
The meeting will be held in public at 4.30pm this afternoon, on in the RAB Thomas Lecture Theatre at the hospital's Post Graduate Medical Centre.
The announcement comes days before Secretary of State for health Jeremy Hunt announces the finalised plans for the hospital.
Stafford's council leader Mike Heenan says he is worried about the meeting, called for 4pm today to deal with staffing shortages.
Notification of the meeting was only given on Tuesday. Administrators are expected to decide what action needs to be taken.
Councillor Heenan said: "I'm concerned to hear they feel the need to have a special meeting which implies something is going to happen. That worries me. I hope it isn't the precursor to something further.
"I'm aware that like every hospital in the country they're having difficulties with staff recruitment in A&E. I just hope that isn't any signal that the present arrangements are in any way going to be altered. I hope we retain what we have got."
The hospital's A&E department has been closed overnight since December 2011.
Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy wants Mr Hunt to make changes to recommendations made by trust special administrators which will see the hospital merge with the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and lose some key services. Mr Lefroy said no matter what Mr Hunt announced he would continue to fight for key services at Stafford Hospital.
"Number one we have to make sure there's a decision taken which means we can go forward with the merger with Stoke. It means we will have a sustainable hospital for the future of Stafford. "
Mr Hunt's decision has to be made by Wednesday.