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Leek and Cheadle hospitals could expand

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 15, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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Health services at community hospitals in Leek and Cheadle along with Biddulph Health Centre could be expanded.

Health leaders promised to look at bringing more services to the three towns when a public meeting was held at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council headquarters, Moorlands House, Stockwell Street, Leek, on Friday, March 7, to discuss what effect the decision by the government, to dissolve the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, would have on Staffordshire Moorlands residents.

The meeting, which was called and led by Staffordshire Moorlands MP Karen Bradley, was attended by councillors and residents.

Mark Hackett, chief executive of the University Hospital in Stoke said services were due to be transferred to Stoke from Stafford on October 1.

He said: "We are to receive £91 million from the government to build extra facilities at Stoke and refurbish Stafford.

"We cannot cope with the transfer of acute surgery from Stafford unless we expand. The department of health is giving money and a £60 million building, which includes extra wards and theatres, will be constructed.

"We are also knocking down buildings to make two new car parks. A site is also to be rented near the hospital for staff car parking, while we are looking at building a multi storey on the former outpatients site."

Leader of the district council, Sybil Ralphs, said some people in the area had to go to Shelton for a blood test.

She said: "We have a brilliant hospital in Leek which is under used and also one in Cheadle.

"My authority would be pleased to show support for Leek and Cheadle hospitals and Biddulph Health Centre to have more facilities. We are also pushing like mad to bring a dementia unit to the Kniveden Hall site in Leek."

Mr Hackett said he suggested that a group be set up to see what services people would like to see transferred to their local community premises.

Stuart Poynor, chief executive of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust, said Leek had great facilities and that there was capacity at Cheadle for more services.

He said: "More can be done. We need to talk to people and do things differently. I endorse councillor Ralphs proposals."

Leek councillor Brian Johnson asked if the University Hospital was looking at Macclesfield Hospital to help out.

He said: "The University Hospital is about 15 miles from Leek, while Macclesfield is 11. There staff apologise if you have to wait.

"I would say that 99 per cent of the time people would tell the ambulance service to take them to Macclesfield. Ambulance and paramedics should know where people can be dealt with."

But, Mr Hackett said that the two hospitals were different

He said: "Macclesfield are sending us patients. They do not do critical care. We have had people working at Macclesfield and vise versa. The hospital is cooling down taking people with conditions not disclosed."

Leek doctor David Hughes said: "More services are required in Leek. We have got to be bold and do things locally. We also need more care in people's homes which patients want. It also makes taxpayers money go further."

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