Council leader takes hospital fight to PM

Council leader – Cllr. Patrick Farrington

The leader of Stafford Borough Council has written to the Prime Minister to tell her any plans to close the A&E at County Hospital would be unacceptable.

Councillor Patrick Farrington received unanimous backing from fellow councillors when he put forward a motion regarding the proposed Staffordshire NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

The motion called on the authors of the STP to acknowledge that any attempt to close or reduce the operation of the A&E at the hospital would be a ‘retrograde’ step in providing health services for the local community.

And he added that the best way to achieve improvements to health, transforming the quality of care, while managing the finances better, was to maintain and enhance the existing accident and emergency service at Stafford.

Now Councillor Farrington is sending a full draft of the motion to Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, along with a letter stressing the “deep rooted feelings” of residents around A&E provision.”

In the letter he states:

“You will see it (the council motion) was unanimously passed without any dissenting voice. I hope therefore that you will understand how reflective this motion is of the feeling amongst local politicians and our residents generally.”

Copies have been sent to the Chairs of Clinical Commissioning groups across the area and others involved in the drafting of the STP.

Councillor Farrington, said:

“We accept that the NHS has to change if it is going to continue to deliver high quality care for all, in a tighter economic climate, with a growing and ageing population.

“But my message for those who are writing the STP for Staffordshire is simple: address the delivery of healthcare and the issues around cost but not at the expense of current core services.”

He added: “It is nonsense to suggest reducing A&E services if the plan is to improve health and wellbeing, to transform the quality of care delivery, within sustainable financial parameters.”