Below is the transcript of our very own #saveleekhospital Pamela Wood delivering the petition to the county council. The motion (screenshot below) was proposed and the vote was unanimous in our favour.
‘My name is Pamela Wood. I am a District Councillor on the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, a retired State Registered Nurse and at the moment I am Chair of Save Leek Hospital Action Group.
We wanted to present this petition today in the hope that you will help us to stop the CCG’s plans to downgrade healthcare in North Staffordshire.
It would take a lot longer than five minutes to explain the ways in which we as a group have tried to stop the CCG from implementing their systematic closure of Community Hospitals.
So what I want to do today is to suggest that The North Staffordshire CCG is no longer fit for purpose! And I want to give some of the reasons why we think it isn’t.
Over the last few years the North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group have been complicit in many decisions made by the various trusts which in our view have resulted in the sad mess that our local healthcare providers are in today.
The CCG allowed University Hospital of the North Midlands to take over the running of Stafford Hospital when UHNM was hardly able to cope on its own let alone take on added responsibilities. This has resulted in some of the worst waiting times on TROLLEYS in the country, a severe problem with bed blocking and of course a huge financial overspend.
The CCG closed Longton Cottage Hospital and was then forced to reopen it at short notice! They took trained staff from Leek and Cheadle Hospitals to run Longton and replaced these staff with agency nurses from all over the country, paying for their accommodation and travel from Stoke on Trent for every shift they did. These agency nurses were happy to boast about their fantastic hourly rate! I have tried without success to find out how much this massive mistake cost the CCG.
About five years ago the CCG allowed Staffordshire and Stoke on
Trent Partnership Trust to spend one point two million pounds on building a completely new minor injuries and outpatient department at Leek Moorlands. They failed to staff the new department in a safe way and the minor injuries department was swiftly moved back into it’s old corridor, leaving this costly building to house a few clinic sessions which could of course have been housed anywhere!
A large amount of money was then spent on the two wards at the hospital, work which necessitated staff and patients moving to another hospital for three months at a time! Not a quick lick of paint then?
So lots of money spent on a building which they now want to close!
The CCG tell us that the beds at Leek Moorlands are currently being used mostly by people from Stoke on Trent not Staffordshire Moorlands. Marcus Warnes from the CCG told me personally that this was because of the failings of Care in the Community in the city. What he didn’t say was that at the same time about a hundred Moorlands people are being looked after in nursing homes and care homes in Stoke on Trent at NHS expense.
The North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group are now forcing through initiatives such as My Care My Way without waiting for the results of public consultation and in the knowledge that Care in the Community is not working.
I ask you to consider very carefully what is happening to healthcare in the North of the county and help what is a very special area with very special needs.’