Stafford’s MP Jeremy Lefroy said that today’s report from the Trust Special Administrator for the future of Stafford and Cannock hospitals contained a lot of good news but also some proposals which he opposed and would fight.
“I welcome the clear fact that Stafford will continue to be an acute District General Hospital. I have long argued that Stafford – and other similar DGH’s – play a vital role in the NHS. Today’s announcement confirms that. The original idea that Stafford should become a non-acute community hospital has been discarded – thanks, in no small measure, to the wonderful campaign of local people through Support Stafford Hospital.
“It is very good news too for local people that Stafford will retain its A&E Department which around 45-50,000 people attend every year and which yesterday received the accolade of being rated in the ‘friends and family’ test as one of the best in the country. Acute medical services will continue to be provided. The small number of serious emergency surgery cases (typically 2-4 per day out of around 160 who attend A&E) will be taken straight to major acute hospitals such as UHNS Stoke where more specialists are available.
“Where we still have much work to do is over maternity and children’s services. Stafford’s maternity department is very good and needs to be retained. I will continue to fight for its retention.
“I am concerned too about the proposals for critical care. While they are an improvement on the original suggestion in February, in my view we need the highest level of critical care, level 3 rather than the level 2+ which is recommended. Stafford’s critical care unit (ICU) forms part of the national critical care infrastructure and cannot just be regarded as a local facility.
“I have already made these points to the Secretary of State for Health and Prime Minister and will continue to do so.
“But the vital thing to take away from today’s announcement is that Stafford will continue to have an acute District General Hospital at its heart, providing a very wide range of health services, just as it has done for many decades; and we will continue to strive for the highest quality standards. I hope that will bring some peace of mind to my constituents and hospital staff who have lived with so much uncertainty for so long.”