Health bosses dismiss vote of no confidence in row over hospital bed closures

NORTH Staffordshire health bosses have dismissed a vote of no confidence from angry campaigners in the row over bed closures at four local community hospitals.

North Staffordshire and and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have taken out 168 intermediate rehabilitation beds at the Leek Moorlands, Cheadle, Haywood and Bradwell hospitals without consulting the public.

A public consultation was due to take place earlier this year, but it was suspended to avoid clashing with February’s Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election, following Tristram Hunt’s decision to quit as local MP; May’s Staffordshire County Council’s elections; and June’s snap General Election.

Campaigner Ian Syme has accused the CCGs of ‘misleading’ the public over hospital bed closures and was behind the vote of no confidence dismissed at a meeting of local health bosses.

He said: “The CCGs have repeatedly broken public assurances and public commitments. These decisions have created serious morale issues amongst staff.”

Moorlands district councillor and Save Leek Hospital campaigner Pam Wood says she has been told the town’s hospital will be closing by 2019 and the services will be offered elsewhere.

“We are told these are only temporary closures, but the staff have already been moved elsewhere,” she said.

More than 23,000 people have signed a petition protesting about bed closures at the Leek Moorlands.

The CCG has announced a public consultation will now begin next month and continue into December, to be followed by a formal consultation next year.