Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford County Hospital children's services review to start

Stafford's County Hospital
Image caption Accident and emergency services at the hospital remain suspended for under 16s

Child health experts are set to visit Stafford's County Hospital as part of an independent review into children's emergency services.

Accident and emergency services at the hospital remain suspended for under 16s due to concerns about safety.

The hospital trust said it decided in September to ask the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) to carry out an independent review.

It is set to visit the trust for the first time on Thursday.

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The suspension of A&E services for children followed an external review by the West Midlands Quality Review Service and advice from senior clinicians.

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust said it would work closely with the RCPCH "to ensure they acquire all the necessary information to complete their review", which is due to end in January.

Image caption The hospital, under its former guise of Stafford Hospital, was the subject of a public inquiry after a higher than expected number of deaths between 2005 to 2008

There have been more than 240 responses to a public survey by the RCPCH regarding children's emergency services at the hospital, which were halted for under 18s in August.

Services were reinstated on October 10 for people aged 16 and 17. A minor injuries unit for children at the hospital was "operating well", clinical director Dr Anne Marie Morris, said.

The hospital, under its former guise of Stafford Hospital, was the subject of a public inquiry after a higher than expected number of deaths between 2005 to 2008.

The trust took over the hospital in October 2015, after the previous trust was declared clinically and financially unviable.

The now-defunct Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was fined £500,000 last year after admitting four charges over the deaths of elderly people, between 2005 and 2014.

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