MPs rally behind cause to maintain ‘vital’ A&E unit
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FOUR MPs have thrown their weight behind the Express’s campaign to oppose any moves to close Macclesfield’s A&E unit.
Macclesfield MP David Rutley, Tatton MP George Osborne, Congleton’s MP Fiona Bruce and High Peak MP Andrew Bingham, have pledged their support for our campaign to keep the A&E at Macclesfield Hospital.
It comes as a released report confirmed that downgrading the A&E to an urgent care centre is an option in a major shake-up of services.
A petition and form has now been launched by the Express and the MPs calling on health bosses to save the A&E department.
Mr Rutley has also called for a meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss the issue.
Mr Rutley said he and fellow Cheshire MPs are concerned about increased travel times for patients who would have to go to Stockport or Wythenshawe and that the unit would be staffed by GPs not hospital consultants if it were downgraded to an Urgent Care Centre (UCC).
He said: “I’m pleased that local MPs have added their full support to the campaign to keep A&E services in Macclesfield.
“It further demonstrates the strength of local opinion about the need to retain vital services at our hospital.
“No details have been provided as to what services would be provided but an Urgent Care Centre is not typically staffed by consultants in emergency medicine.”
The final draft of the sustainability and transformation plan (STP) for Cheshire and Merseyside – which aims to save £909m by 2020 – has now been released, showing that the A&E could be replaced by a UCC which would not treat patients with major illness or injury such as stroke, multiple trauma or heart attack.
The Express is this week urging readers to fill in the form on the opposite page calling on health bosses to ‘abandon any moves to downgrade Macclesfield Hospital’s A&E unit’.
A petition will also be circulated at this Sunday’s Treacle market with the same demand.
We are also supporting an online petition launched by nurse Claire Gilham opposing the plans, which has already attracted more than 8,000 signatures.
Mr Rutley said: “I encourage residents to sign the petition so decision makers understand the strength of public concern.”
You can support the online petition at petition.parliament.uk/ petitions/171296.
David Rutley with local MPs Andrew Bingham, Fiona Bruce and George Osborne – united in the fight to save A&E at Macclesfield Hospital