Victory in fight to save accident unit
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