Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford Hospital: Francis Report prompts patients' fears for future

Patients who use Stafford Hospital
Denise Allman, Gareth Hughes and Duncan Gorwood have all been treated at the hospital

Some patients using Stafford Hospital have defended the treatment they have received and have expressed concerns that the criticisms in Francis Report could lead to its closure.

The 12-month inquiry by Robert Francis QC , which cost £13m, was the fifth of its kind after a higher-than-expected number of deaths at the hospital between 2005 and 2008.

Gareth Hughes, 40, from Stafford, was treated at the hospital in 2011 and he said its service was "diabolical". Despite that, he still wants to see it remain open.

"This has been going on for years and now the A&E has shut," he said.

"It wouldn't surprise me if [the hospital] closed down completely but it's terrible for a county town like this."

'No complaints'

Mr Hughes said having to go to another hospital 14 or 15 miles away would be "no use to anyone".

Denise Allman, 54, who lives and works in Stafford, believes the campaigning groups calling for the enquiry have "gone too far" by causing the closure of the A&E department.

"The care I have received personally at the hospital in 2003 was excellent.

"It's a long way for people to travel if they are ill to go to Stoke now - it's too much," she said.

Some residents in the area said the standard of care at the hospital has improved in recent years.

Eric Halliday said: "I was in the hospital last September and as for a top to bottom overhaul of the hospital - my experience was wonderful, the nursing there was excellent I have no complaints at all about the care I received."

Duncan Gorwood, 40, Stafford said he contacted MP Jeremy Lefoy to tell him about his recent experiences of the hospital, describing it as "excellent" and calling for its services to be protected.

'Wanted a profit'

He said: "What's happening at the hospital is not helped by the level of negativity that's around it.

"For a county town the size of Stafford not to have services that meet the needs of children adults and young people is unthinkable.

"Enough time is being spent blaming people, let's now do something positive," he said

Derek Randles, 74, from Stafford said staff at the hospital have "always been fantastic" and put its problems down to the decision to go for trust status.

"The government of the day decided it wanted to make a profit and I am afraid you can't make a profit out of humans," he said.

"The managers did not take the fall for it, they thought if they cut down on care and cost hopefully no-one will notice."

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