During my lifetime I’ve only taken part in a handful of demonstrations or marches. Mostly they’ve been to do with education, although I have been tempted to attend marches in support of the miners, and against the poll tax and war in
On Saturday I joined over 40,000 other people for a march from Stafford town centre to support
. Now if you’ve been listening to the news, reading a newspaper or even tuning into parliament, you will have heard about Stafford Hospital . It is currently in administration having been judged to be clinically and financially unviable. There was a period up to about 2007 where the hospital, for a number of reasons, failed to give good quality care, leading to the needless deaths of many patients. Relatives complained about the appalling treatment of loved ones and have fought for justice. These relatives have been vindicated by the public inquiry and subsequent report as the tales of the lack of care and abuse were truly shocking. I believe this to be by the few rather than the many. Stafford Hospital
I must say that we have always been a very healthy family (I am touching some wood as I type!) and any care we've required has been first class. Rhiannon and Tom were born there in 1986 and 1990.
There are now plans to remove all acute services, including maternity, from Stafford to Wolverhampton, Stoke or Burton-on-Trent, all about 20 miles away. Already A&E is closed overnight as the hospital found it difficult to recruit suitable staff, during and following the inquiry. This is punishing local people further, and for patients without transport it will make it very difficult to attend appointments or if hospitalized to receive visitors. The irony is that each of these other hospitals is already overcrowded!
Over the coming years, as we pull our military bases out of
, over one thousand military personnel and their families will be housed in Stafford Garrison – formerly RAF Stafford. Germany
Feeling in the town and surrounding areas is running high, as was evidenced by the march and demonstration. There are a great many caring people who have spent their lives caring for people through their work in the NHS. It wasn’t a political demonstration; all parties are in agreement that a county town, the size of
Stafford, needs a hospital with acute services. The town needs the jobs that the hospital provides, and we all need to move on from what has happened in the past and look to a future.
Stafford today, but will it happen to your town tomorrow?
I’m hoping that people power will prevail…