Ongoing fight for our health services
The latest threat to the Emergency Room is part of an ongoing fight to defend Macclesfield General Hospital’s services.
It comes less than a month after stroke services were moved out of the hospital and transferred to care centres in Stockport and Stoke, and at a time when the Millbrook Unit, which provides care for mental health patients, also faces closure. In July this year the East Cheshire Clinical Commissioning group (CCG), which funds local healthcare in Macclesfield and faces a deficit of £10m, was given the green light to redesign stroke rehabilitation services. And as of this month, stroke care will be provided at specialist centres like Stepping Hill and Royal Stoke hospital, with rehabilitation services offering patients treatment in their own home. And in August the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), which runs the Millbrook Unit at Macclesfield Hospital, announced proposals to close the ward to save money.
But the public consultation has been postponed after councillors asked the trust to look at other options available, leaving the future of the vital unit uncertain.
In 2006 the community faced its biggest battle when cuts to women and children’s services at the hospital were proposed, launching what is thought to be one of the largest responses ever to an NHS consultation.
Making It Better - a review of children’s medical provision across East Cheshire and Greater Manchester - threatened the inpatient paediatric, consultantled obstetric and neonatal services at Macclesfield Hospital.
But it was saved thanks to the efforts of the community.
The Macclesfield Express’s ‘Hands Off Our Hospital’ petition was signed more than 50,000. Former Macclesfield MP Sir Nick Winterton was one of the leading campaigners and hundreds of people took to the streets for a ‘Pram Push and Rally’, organised by midwives at Macclesfield’s maternity unit to raise awareness about the proposed cuts.