Bat­tle is stepped up over ‘se­cret’ down­grade move


THE BAT­TLE is on to save the town’s A&E as crit­ics warn lives will be lost if the de­part­ment is down­graded.

Mac­cles­field res­i­dents are stand­ing firm against pro­pos­als to down­grade the emer­gency de­part­ment at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal af­ter more than 6,000 peo­ple signed an on­line pe­ti­tion in un­der a week.

A re­port leaked to the me­dia last week stated the A&E could be down­graded to a ‘mi­nor in­jury and ill­ness unit’ (MIIU) which would mean se­ri­ously ill pa­tients would have to travel fur­ther to A&E in Stockport or Wythen­shawe.

Health bosses now say that was con­tained in the re­port ‘ by mis­take’ and have apol­o­gised.

But the state­ment goes on to say that there is an op­tion on the ta­ble to change the A&E unit into an ur­gent care cen­tre, mean­ing Mac­cles­field would still lose its A&E.

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley and fel­low MP for Con­gle­ton Fiona Bruce have said they will do all they can to fight to save A&E ser­vices.

And for­mer chan­cel­lor and Tat­ton MP Ge­orge Os­borne said: “I want the best care for my con­stituents and, with the in­for­ma­tion I’ve seen so far, that care is best pro­vided by an A&E de­part­ment.”

This week the health think-tank the King’s Fund has hit out at NHS Eng­land say­ing it has kept the down­grad­ing plans se­cret from the pub­lic.

Mean­while, dif­fer­ent sec­tions of the com­mu­nity in Mac­cles­field have vowed to fight for our A&E unit.

A state­ment by Mac­cles­field Town Coun­cil said: “With the strong­est un­der­stand­ing of the fi­nan­cial pres­sures on ser­vices, we ex­press our deep­est con­cern. These ser­vices con­tinue to face sig­nif­i­cant de­mand and if they are re­moved, pa­tients would be forced to add sig­nif­i­cant and in some cases life-threat­en­ing, time to their jour­ney.

“This will leave 52,000 res­i­dents dan­ger­ously un­der-served. It will stretch staff and phys­i­cal re­sources, di­min­ish ser­vice stan­dards and put life and health at risk.”

Coun Hilda Gad­dum, coun­cil­lor for Sut­ton who fought plans to cut chil­dren’s and ma­ter­nity ser­vices 10 years ago, warned it was a ‘ slip­pery slope’, adding: “There will be a drip-drip ef­fect.

“Each time you take some­thing away, other ser­vices go. It will end up a sim­ple cot­tage hos­pi­tal. We must keep fight­ing.”

The pro­posal is part of plans to cut costs af­ter hos­pi­tal bosses in July said they faced a £24m deficit.

Bat­tle lines have been drawn in the fight to save A&E at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal, with more than 6,000 peo­ple sign­ing a pe­ti­tion against the pos­si­bil­ity of it be­ing down­graded to an Ur­gent Care Cen­tre and MPs also say­ing they will fight any plans to threaten the town’s emer­gency pro­vi­sion

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