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11 OCT


By timesecholife on in Latest News


CAMPAIGNERS are calling for a ‘unified approach’ ahead of a public meeting to discuss the future of Cheadle Hospital.
The meeting will take opinions from people across the Cheadle area to develop options for the site which will then go to a formal consultation next year.
The newly installed chairman of Cheadle’s Labour party, Adam Drane, has called for Conservative MP Bill Cash attend the public meeting and defend community hospital services.
He also appealed for organisations in the Cheadle area to meet before the event and agree a strategy to support the hospital.
Adam said: “While the state of the NHS is a deeply political issue, it strikes me that the only way we can make progress on this issue is with a unified approach from everyone. “Let’s put politics to one side and fight together for the good of our amazing town.”
Cheadle Hospital Action Group have been working on potential plans for the future of the building and are hoping to unveil their ideas ahead of the public meeting in November.
Spokesman Ron Locker said: “I certainly like the idea of the Labour Party’s that it should be a cross-party discussion.
“We have got ideas within the action group that we have been talking about for some time.
“It may be an idea that we can talk about in public and see what people think about it. We need to make sure that the ideas we are presenting to the CCGs are feasible and achievable.
“This could be a good opportunity for Cheadle and district to have something that we currently haven’t got.
“I would encourage people to attend the meeting. All that is offered at the moment is hope – and we must hope that they will listen to us.”
Save Our Beds campaigner Julie Bull said: “I welcome the cross party working – in fact I would welcome any help at all campaigning against the closure of beds or facilities at Cheadle Hospital.
“I only wish everyone had come forward in September, 2016 when I so desperately needed to be backed up by as many people as possible.
“I first started the campaign 12 months ago when staff raised the alarm – we now find ourselves with no nursing staff and no beds – I needed help to fight for those too.”
Step-down care beds at the hospital – which provided care for people no longer in need of acute treatment but unable to manage at home – were ‘temporarily’ closed in September 2016.
A consultation on the future of Cheadle Hospital was planned for February this year, but was delayed due to local and then general elections.
New assurance procedures have further delayed the process and a formal consultation on the future of Cheadle, Leek, Haywood, Longton and Bradwell community hospitals is not expected until mid-2018.
Now Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are hosting five separate public events focussing on each community hospital affected, in a bid to gather information on what services people want to see in their communities.
The data will help mould new proposals which will be considered by health chiefs before being put forward for consultation.
Dr Lorna Clarson, clinical director for partnerships and engagement for the CCGs, said: “These events are a great opportunity for the public to get involved and have their say on local health services.
“The events have been arranged to find out what health services people feel they’ll need to help them live full and healthy lives in the years to come.
“Their views will help us to develop the options that we’ll be consulting on next year.
“We need to develop a range of options which will allow us to provide the right services, in the right places, relevant to current and future needs of local patients, and we need help from local people to design them.
“Unfortunately, until now this process has been somewhat overshadowed by the understandable concerns around community beds, but we’re keen to ensure local voices help us mould how and where local health services are delivered.”

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