On­go­ing fight for our health ser­vices

Macclesfield Express - - HANDS OFF OUR HOSPITAL -

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.

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