Ward at Stafford Hospital
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Fewer patients choosing Stafford Hospital

Freedom of Information figures show that in the past five years there has been a 67% drop in the number of patients opting to be treated at Stafford Hospital.

Falling public confidence in the troubled hospital is costing the trust almost £4m a year, the investigation by BBC Sunday Politics in the Midlands found.

The hospital trust's chief executive Lynn Hill-Tout said the situation was "very damaging" to the hospital for its finances and in terms of public confidence.

Dr Patrick Cadigan, from the Royal College of Physicians, praised those doctors and nurses who had remained at the hospital throughout its difficulties.