A&E will stay at hos­pi­tal

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRITTON

HOS­PI­TAL bosses have hit back at re­ports that the A&E depart­ment will be closed.

Re­ports in the na­tional press have this week said the emer­gency depart­ment at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal is one of 24 at risk of be­ing ‘down­graded’ to an ur­gent care cen­tre – which would not take care of the most se­ri­ously ill patients.

This has caused con­cern among res­i­dents who thought the depart­ment was safe af­ter health bosses is­sued a state­ment to say the A&E would re­main.

But health chiefs say the re­ports are based on old in­for­ma­tion and they are still work­ing with part­ners to de­velop op­tions for the fu­ture of the A&E.

Con­cerns were ini­tially raised in Novem­ber last year when a leaked doc­u­ment – called the Cheshire and Mersey­side Sus­tain­abil­ity and Trans­for­ma­tion Plan (STP) – said the A&E may be down­graded.

But rep­re­sen­ta­tives for the East Cheshire NHS Trust, which runs the hos­pi­tal, in­sisted that the A&E depart­ment will re­main.

A spokesman said the re­cent na­tional news re­ports have been based on the ear­lier doc­u­ment, which con­firmed that the A&E could be down­graded to an ur­gent care cen­tre.

A Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal A&E and Car­ing To­gether pro­gramme progress spokesman said: “Car­ing To­gether part­ners re­gret re­cent re­ports in the na­tional me­dia sug­gest­ing that Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal’s A&E depart­ment will be closed or down­graded.

“The re­ports ap­pear to ref­er­ence the STP doc­u­ment from Novem­ber 16, 2016, which did sug­gest the con­ver­sion of the depart­ment to an ur­gent care cen­tre as a po­ten­tial model for the lo­cal health econ­omy. How­ever, the STP doc­u­ment has since been su­per­seded by this state­ment in which Car­ing To­gether part­ners give a clear com­mit­ment to re­tain A&E ser­vices at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal and this re­mains the case.

“We have con­tacted na­tional me­dia out­lets which have in­cor­rectly ref­er­enced po­ten­tial clo­sure of the depart­ment high­light­ing this state­ment, and have asked for the ar­ti­cles in ques­tion to be amended ac­cord­ingly. We are still at the stage of work­ing with part­ners to de­velop op­tions for the lo­cal health and so­cial care econ­omy through the Car­ing To­gether and wider re­gional sus­tain­abil­ity and trans­for­ma­tion pro­grammes.

“The time­line for fi­nal­is­ing these op­tions has not been con­firmed so we are cur­rently un­able to pro­vide fur­ther de­tails.

“How­ever, the op­tions will be made pub­lic in due course and con­sul­ta­tion will take place where ap­pro­pri­ate.”

The com­mu­nity re­acted with out­rage when the leaked doc­u­ment stated that the emer­gency depart­ment could be down­graded. The Ex­press launched a cam­paign against the pro­posal and more than 10,000 res­i­dents signed a pe­ti­tion. Health bosses back­tracked and is­sued a state­ment to say that the depart­ment would re­main.

How­ever, a gov­ern­ment re­sponse to the pe­ti­tion failed to rule out fu­ture changes. It stated the pub­lic will be con­sulted be­fore any changes are made.

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley said: “I have heard noth­ing from within the NHS to sug­gest that the pre­vi­ous state­ment is­sued does not stand.

“The A&E at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal has been safe­guarded as promised.”

Mac­cles­field A&E depart­ment and, in­set, the Ex­press cam­paign

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