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A new generation for change | The Labour Party | Supporting the community with our values

Stafford Labour Party is a voice for everyone in Stafford

Stafford Labour Party is a voice for everyone in Stafford – The Labour Party has only been in government for four short periods of the 20th century.

However its achievements have revolutionised the lives of the British people.

The values Labour stands for today are those which have guided it throughout its existence:

  • social justice 
  • strong community and strong values 
  • reward for hard work 
  • decency 
  • rights matched by responsibilities

Our party seeks to understand the challenges that Stafford is facing, and to look for solutions, providing clear support to the community based on our values and to be the new generation for change Ed Miliband spoke of at Annual Conference 2010. 

You can get in touch with us here today about the role we play in the community, the role you can play within the party and how we can fight for a fairer future for Britain. 

The threat to Stafford Hospital A&E 

The high level of press interest in Stafford Hospital over the last four years has made it uniquely difficult for Stafford to recruit staff.

The result left the Hospital in a position in November 2011 when it had to close the A&E at nights. 

This was a deeply worrying situation, as there is a wish by the current government to cut the number of A&Es, but most people felt that it would be entirely inappropriate for Stafford to lose our A&E.

The online petition we started began the Save Stafford Hospital campaign which has since gained thousands of signatures quickly collected by The Labour Party, along with working with the strictly non-political Support Stafford Hospital Group, and a variety of other groups.

Here are a few of the 100s of thoughtful comments from the petition:

  • Stafford Hospital recently cared for my Nan and the care and aftercare she received there were outstanding. Truly wonderful staff. If A&E were closed there is a large catchment area of people with no cover adding further strain to an underfunded and undervalued NHS.
  • The closure of A+E @nighttime could result in severe medical conditions and /or loss of life
  • When decisions are made there are consequences – lives may be put at risk because of the extra distance to travel to hospital, there are cost implications for the time of the police/prison service who need 2 officers to accompany an individual to hospital, there is also the possibility of a greater workload for the ambulance service – people calling an ambulance to take them to hospital for something minor, rather than making their own way there.
  • This could mean the difference between life and death for people. I had to be rushed to Stafford A&E 10 years ago when I had a brain hemorrhage during the night. My granddaughter had to be rushed to A&E when she had convulsions. It is so important that there is somewhere nearby where people can get emergency treatment 24 hours a day.
  • Stafford has always justified an A&E department, the public of the county town & surrounding villages deserve this service as a basic right. Do not punish the general public for the mismanagement of this unit. Help the SDGH to become a beacon of clinical excellence that all stakeholders can be proud of
  • An emergency department is an emergency department. Time lost is lives lost, increased injuries and cost to taxpayer. Closing EDs are a false economy.

The Petition has been effective. 

  • The Hospital has strongly committed to re-opening – and now aims to open full time from June 2012. 
  • The Government has met the major demand of the petition – to fund the hospital’s deficit, in order to meet the highly unusual pressures that Stafford has had to face. 
  • The Clinicial commissioning group have been made aware of the strength of support that exists for the hospital.

But there are also real causes for concern. 

  • The Hospital, like hospitals all over the country is under huge financial pressure, and this could threaten staffing levels, which may in turn threaten the quality of care. 
  • As part of the move to cut the costs of the NHS the hospital will now have to rely on other larger hospitals to provide “specialist” emergency services. 
  • There are concerns about the number of services that are now being provided by private sector organisations, and the long term effects that this may have on the quality and accountability of the service. 

What about the problems? 

No Hospital is perfect, but it is likely that The Mid Staffs NHS Public Inquiry, when it reports this summer, will make it clear that Stafford was not unique.

Many of the difficulties that it experienced are common to many of the hospitals throughout the NHS. 

The staff and management have worked hard to overcome the difficulties that they faced in 2007, and are now achieving some very real recognition for this hard work.  

TheInquiry is likely to point out the real difficulties that exist in really knowing how good the care is in any of our services.

Perhaps all of us can play a role in ensuring that any problems that do exist can be quickly recognised and dealt with.

The hospital now puts a very high priority onto checking that patients are comfortable, and on dealing with any complaints that may from time to time arise. 

With the NHS as with other services in this community one of the functions of your elected representatives is to help you to raise any questions that you feel need attention. 

Open Letter – To Prime Minister David Cameron

Dear David Cameron,

This Petition of over 20,000 signatures, collected by hundreds of people from Stafford, asks you to support our hospital.

We were told in November 2011 that the night time closure of A&E was temporary, but the Clinical Commissioning Group, with no consultation have decided to down grade provision from A&E to an Urgent and Emergency care center.

This frustrates the wishes of the Hospital governors and the people of Stafford.

The unique pressure of years of Inquiries has placed a financial burden on the Hospital and that is why we were assured it would be supported financially until 2014.

We therefore do not understand the current involvement of Monitor, with the threat of special measures.

This is being seen as a serious and unwelcome threat to the future of our hospital.

We note the strong personal interest that you have taken in Mid Staffs.

We therefore wish you to see for yourself the strength of the local support that exists for this hospital.

The people of Stafford do not view closing an essential service as any kind of improvement.

The Clinical Commissioning Group says that they are not re-opening the A&E because of concerns on the sustainability of staffing levels.

The Royal College of Physicians report “Hospitals on the Edge”, written as their response to the Midstaffs inquiry, shows that the shortage of emergency staff is a major national problem, facing District General Hospitals throughout the country.

94% of night time urgent care is currently delivered without a consultant present.

“Hospitals on the Edge” also tells us that the pressures which created the problems in Stafford in 2006/7 are now being replicated in hospitals all over the country.

The question of how to deliver a safe Emergency service is a national issue, and we believe it requires a national response.

Many people from across the country now fear that their District General Hospitals are also under threat.

The logic of the Commissioning Group’s decision indicates that they are right to do so.

The people Of Stafford would like to know if you support their wish to re-open the A&E, and if you will give this hospital the support that it needs to offer the service that the people of Staffordshire need and expect.

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