Vic­tory in fight to save ac­ci­dent unit

Macclesfield Express - - FIGHT TO SAVE A&E - KAREN BRIT­TON

THE bat­tle to save Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal’s A&E de­part­ment has been won.

Thou­sands of peo­ple signed a pe­ti­tion to save the de­part­ment and backed the Ex­press’s cam­paign af­ter health bosses said it was at risk and could be re­placed with an ‘ur­gent care cen­tre’.

But fol­low­ing the over­whelm­ing re­sponse from the com­mu­nity and its leaders, they now say the plans have been scrapped.

MP David Rut­ley, who joined our cam­paign, said he was de­lighted with the news and praised the Ex­press for lead­ing the ap­peal.

He said: “It is good to see that com­mon sense has pre­vailed.

“I’m pleased as­sur­ances have been given that A&E ser­vices will re­main at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal.”

He added: “I would also like to thank Claire Gil­ham, who es­tab­lished the Par­lia­men­tary pe­ti­tion and the 9,500 peo­ple who signed the pe­ti­tion to op­pose these vi­tal ser­vices being down­graded.

“The sup­port of lo­cal MPs, in­clud­ing Ge­orge Os­borne, Fiona Bruce, An­drew Bing­ham, and the strong voice of Cheshire East Coun­cil, have been in­valu­able in help­ing health ser­vice providers un­der­stand how im­por­tant it is to keep Ac­ci­dent & Emer­gency ser­vices in Mac­cles­field.”

Cam­paign­ers sprang into ac­tion af­ter the Ex­press broke the news ear­lier this month, and in just six days more than 150 peo­ple re­turned cam­paign forms we pub­lished in the paper. The Ex­press also teamed up with lo­cal MPs to launch a pe­ti­tion and kept up the pres­sure on health providers.

The cam­paign had been gain­ing sup­port from all ar­eas of the com­mu­nity and a ma­jor so­cial me­dia cam­paign was un­der­way.

But then health bosses this week an­nounced that A&E will re­main, and down­grad­ing it is no longer an op­tion - sig­nalling a vic­tory for our ap­peal.

Neil Good­win, in­de­pen­dent chair­man of the East­ern Cheshire Car­ing To­gether pro­gramme, said: “East Cheshire NHS Trust which runs Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal, Cheshire and Wir­ral Part­ner­ship NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, NHS East­ern Cheshire CCG, GPs, Cheshire East Coun­cil and NHS Eng­land have been work­ing to­gether through the Car­ing To­gether pro­gramme to en­sure ser- vices are sus­tain­able and bring about real im­prove­ments to stan­dards of care.

“The clear view is that the best model of care will in­clude an A&E de­part­ment at Mac­cles­field staffed by hos­pi­tal doc­tors and clin­i­cians.

“It is im­por­tant that the Car­ing To­gether Board work­ing with lo­cal peo­ple and part­ners con­cen­trates on en­sur­ing we have a lo­cal care sys­tem which is as ef­fec­tive, ef­fi­cient and in­no­va­tive as pos­si­ble.”

Dr Paul Bowen, CCG clin­i­cal chair, said he hopes this pro­vides as­sur­ance for both pa­tients and staff.

Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal’s A&E unit will not be turned into an Ur­gent Care Cen­tre af­ter a de­ci­sion by health bosses

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