Stafford Hospital protests

A second march is taking place today in support of Stafford Hospital and against the threat of cuts to the maternity and paediatric services.

Thousands gather in protest against Stafford cuts

by Peter Bearne

Thousands of campaigners have gathered in the centre of Stafford to protest at plans to move some acute services away from their local hospital.

The march heads out of Market Square in Stafford Credit: ITV News Central

It is the second march through the town organised by the Support Stafford Hospital action group.

Administrators in charge of the beleaguered hospital want to transfer maternity and paediatric services to other larger NHS trusts. They say the Mid-Staffordshire Trust is too small to maintain standards of care and remain financially viable in the long term.

Protesters gather in Market Square Credit: ITV News Central

It comes after an inquiry found hundreds of patients died needlessly at the hospital between 2005-2008 because of poor care.

A consultation about the administrators' plans is due to finish on Tuesday.

The march continues round the town Credit: ITV News Central

Advertisement

Stafford Hospital protests: Consultation to end in days

The consultation process over plans to transfer maternity and paediatric services from Stafford Hospital is due to end on Tuesday (1 October).

Ahead of the deadline members of the Support Stafford Hospital (SSH) campaign have organised today's second rally in the town centre.

A spokesman for SSH said the march was the chance for "one last push" backing the retaining of all services at Stafford, adding clinical standards and confidence in the hospital had risen significantly since the scandal.

The administrators have said the trust is too small to provide adequate standards of clinical care in the longer term and partnering up with larger hospital trusts is the only way for Stafford Hospital to survive.

Stafford Hospital protests: Second march to take place

More than 50,000 people turned out for the previous march in support of Stafford Hospital
More than 50,000 people turned out for the previous march in support of Stafford Hospital Credit: ITV News Central

A second march will take place today in support of Stafford Hospital and in protest at the planned cuts to its maternity and paediatric services.

The previous march in April saw nearly 50,000 people march with more than 54,000 people signing the petition in support of the retention of acute services at the hospital.

The second march will take place at 2pm on Market Square
The second march will take place at 2pm on Market Square Credit: ITV News Central