RCN: Mid Staffs services must be safely accessible

Published: 10 June 2013

The ease with which people in the Stafford area can access urgent and emergency hospital care must not be overlooked in plans for the future of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, the Royal College of Nursing has said.

The RCN has called for the plans being drawn up by the Joint Trust Special Administrators (TSAs) to address public concern that patient safety will be jeopardised if acute hospital services are moved away from Stafford.

The RCN has written to the administrators to stress that the safe availability and accessibility of services for people in Stafford must be “integral to and inextricable from” any future model for safe and sustainable hospital service provision.

Paul Vaughan, RCN West Midlands Director, said: “Our members have understandable and sincerely-held concerns and questions about what will happen if these key services are no longer provided in Stafford.

“They are anxious about how promptly patients will be able to access vital treatment and care and whether there is sufficient capacity in acute and community settings elsewhere in the local health economy to cope with any displacement from Stafford.”

The RCN believes that quality of care for the Stafford population must be protected and will respond to the draft report for consultation due to be published later this month.