We will fight any moves to close our A&E department TheExpresssays
REPORTS that Macclesfield Hospital could be set to lose its A&E department have alarmed people right across the borough.
According to a document leaked this week, the unit could be downgraded to a minor injury and illness unit staffed by GPs.
Jerry Hawker, chief officer of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has since revealed that one option is to reconfigure A&E and other urgent care services at Macclesfield Hospital as health chiefs look to overcome a £24 million deficit.
That is a prospect that will horrify residents in Macclesfield and raise major concerns that people’s lives would be put at risk if they had to travel to Wythenshawe or Stepping Hill to access A&E treatment.
Today the Express calls on the NHS to abandon any plans to downgrade the unit and issues a warning that the people of Macclesfield will not give up their A&E without a fight.
We have some powerful allies in making this demand.
Both Macclesfield MP David Rutley and Cheshire East Council leader Rachel Bailey have both said they will not accept the unit being downgraded.
They too want to see our A&E department safeguarded against cuts.
In recent times too many of the borough’s medical and care facilities have been lost to cuts with the mental health services at the Millbrook unit facing the axe and the closure of Hollins View.
The Express understands that health chiefs are under enormous pressure to tackle this huge deficit.
But we will not accept the health of our readers being put at risk to balance the books.
We would also remind NHS bosses that ten years ago 50,000 people signed a Macclesfield Express petition opposing plans to shut down key services at the hospital in what is thought to be one of the largest ever responses to an NHS consultation.
And to our readers we make this promise: we fought and won then and are ready to fight again to stop make sure YOUR A&E is not taken away.
Turn over to pages four and five our full story and reaction.