Savings plans being made by all health care providers
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.