CCG wants assurances over Stafford hospital changes

Stafford hospital meeting Hundreds of people have already attended consultation meetings about the hospital plans

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Health commissioners have said they want assurances about patient safety if services are moved to Stoke-on-Trent's main hospital from Stafford Hospital.

Births and some emergency surgery are among services that administrators have recommended go to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS).

The North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it was worried whether the UHNS could cope.

Administrators said its draft proposals were based on expert clinical evidence.

Trust Special Administrators (TSA) announced the recommendations on 31 July for Stafford Hospital to be part of UHNS, with Cannock Hospital becoming part of the Royal Wolverhampton Trust.

The plans were formed after the Mid Staffordshire trust went into administration on 16 April.

'No negative impact'

David Hughes from the CCG said: "The devil is always in the detail, and we intend to study the detail minutely.

"Our major concern, not just for our patients but also for those in Stafford, is that there is no negative impact on services at UHNS.

"We commission those services and we have made a clear commitment to our patients that we want to see standards driven upwards."

Consultation on the draft proposals will finish on 1 October.

The CCG said so far the TSAs had only held consultation meetings in south Staffordshire and it wanted to see more meetings in the north of the county.

In a statement, the TSAs said people who were outside the Trust's catchment area were able to respond to consultation via their website.

A spokesman said: "We have worked closely with UHNS in developing the draft recommendations and the continued provision of safe clinical care has been our priority.

"We have been clear that no services would transfer over to a new provider until they are ready, and have the capacity to accept them."

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