A WARD closure has cast further doubt about the future of Leek Moorlands Hospital.
Cottage Ward, one of the two wards at the hospital, is no longer accepting patients.
Kieron Murphy, director of operations at Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust, said: “The beds on Cottage Ward had been reduced according to staffing levels and subsequently closed to new admissions on August 10 to ensure the safety of patients.
“A range of alternative bed-based community-based provision to minimise the impact for patients have been provided.”
Recently the minor injuries unit at the hospital forced to close on one occasion due to staffing issues.
Staffordshire Moorlands MP Karen Bradley has expressed her disappointment at the closure of the Cottage Ward, after meeting with health bosses recently to raise concerns about the hospital’s future.
She said: “At a meeting with key representatives fron the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group). NHS Trust, council leaders and others, I made it clear we want to retain all services under one roof in the long term.
“I don’t think this is the right decision and will continue fighting for the future of our hospital services.”
Local councillor Pam Wood, founder of the Save Leek Hospital Action Group, said: “The last week has seen the beginning of the end of Leek Moorlands Hospital as we know it. The North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is taking vital services away from Leek at a time when our elderly population is increasing at an alarming rate.”