Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford hospital: Lanterns lit at night-time protest

Campaigner Cheryl Porter
Image caption Cheryl Porter said she hoped the event would get the attention of the trust administrators

More than 1,000 people have held a night-time demonstration to save services at Stafford Hospital.

Campaigners lit hundreds of lanterns at the "Night of Light" event on Cannock Road in Stafford on Saturday.

The Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust is currently being run by Trust Special Administrators (TSA), who will publish plans for its future in June.

The Support Stafford Hospital campaign group said more than 40,000 people had signed a petition to save services.

Cheryl Porter, from the group, said: "I hope events like this will make the administrators pay attention.

"More than 1,000 people have turned up on a chilly Saturday night and that should show a message to say we are not going away. We are serious about saving our acute services."

Last month thousands of people took part in a mile-long march from Stafford town centre to the hospital, in protest at proposals to remove acute services such as A&E and maternity.

Those proposals were put forward in a Contingency Planning Team (CPT) report for the health watchdog, Monitor.

The TSA said it would look again at the ideas in its plan for the trust, which runs both Stafford Hospital and Cannock Chase Hospital.

The plan is expected to be published on 20 June before going to public consultation.

The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was the first foundation trust to be put into administration.

It followed years of inquiries into the standards of care at Stafford Hospital, after concerns over high death rates.

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