Sav­ings plans be­ing made by all health care providers

Macclesfield Express - - HANDS OFF OUR HOSPITAL -

ALL lo­cal health care providers in Eng­land are cur­rently draw­ing up Draft Sus­tain­abil­ity and Trans­for­ma­tion Plans (STP) to make sav­ings over the next five years.

Health bosses at East Cheshire NHS Trust con­firmed in July they are bat­tling a £24m deficit, and in an ef­fort to save money, have al­ready trans­ferred trauma and stroke ser­vices to spe­cial­ist units at Step­ping Hill and Stoke.

But Jerry Hawker, chief of­fi­cer of NHS East­ern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG), which has a £10m deficit, said more changes need to be made.

He said: “The CCG to­gether with its part­ners has been very open in its en­gage­ment with the pub­lic on the need for health ser­vices to change lo­cally, and over the last two years has al­ready made a wide range of im­prove­ments to ser­vices avail­able in our com­mu­ni­ties and lo­cal hospi­tal.

“Our work has en­abled more peo­ple than ever to be cared for close to or in their own homes rather than trav­el­ling to hospi­tal. We are now de­vel­op­ing plans for the fur­ther trans­for­ma­tion of lo­cal health and so­cial care ser­vices with lo­cal care pro­fes­sion­als.

One of the op­tions does in­clude the pro­posal to re­con­fig­ure A&E and other ur­gent care ser­vices in­clud­ing those pro­vided by Macclesfield hospi­tal, while an­other op­tion is to re­tain A&E ser­vices. At present how­ever, all op­tions are un­der de­vel­op­ment and when fur­ther de­vel­oped, pro­pos­als will be shared with the pub­lic at ev­ery stage of the process, which would in­clude a for­mal pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.”

The hospi­tal’s deficit is blamed on ad­di­tional spend­ing pres­sures, the loss of key den­tal con­tracts, and the cost of ex­tra staff to plug job va­can­cies, in­clud­ing 40 un­filled nurs­ing posts.

Three other A&E de­part­ments, in South­port, War­ring­ton and Knowl­sey were also named as can­di­dates to be down­graded in a draft ver­sion of the leaked STP.

A fi­nal ver­sion of Cheshire and Mersey­side’s STP is ex­pected to be re­leased in the next few weeks.

Macclesfield MP David Rut­ley is ask­ing for ‘re­as­sur­ances’ about the fu­ture of Macclesfield’s A&E de­part­ment.

Jerry Hawker

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