A health group's denied a consultation over the future of NHS services in Staffordshire is about closing any A&E departments.
This summer, the Together We’re Better partnership, representing NHS and councils, is holding a 12-week 'public conversation' on the future of local services and how they're used.
But Ian Syme, from North Staffordshire Healthwatch, has claimed the group's talk of 'simplifying the local urgent and emergency care system' is an excuse for closing an A&E department.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that such a move would put more pressure on the other units and the ambulance service.
There are currently three emergency departments in the county, in Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Burton-upon-Trent.
I would want to be really explicit on that to say that no decisions, no proposal has been worked up or developed that say anything in terms of the future of buildings or services."