MP says survival of NHS down to response to Mid Staffs scandal

Bill Cash, Tory MP for Stone.
Bill Cash, Tory MP for Stone. Credit: PA

It's the 65th anniversary of the NHS today and it comes as a Midlands MP says its future depends on how the institution reacts to the scandal at Mid Staffs.

Stone MP Bill Cash says Stafford Hospital should keep its acute services to prove the NHS can work properly.

Tory Bill Cash, whose Stone constituency is near the hospital, said the troubled hospital should be given an opportunity to prove itself to establish that the NHS works properly.

A public inquiry into Mid Staffs NHS Foundation Trust found a "disaster" at Stafford Hospital where hundreds of patients may have died needlessly after they were "routinely neglected".

The Francis Report stressed the "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people" between 2005 and 2009.

But Mr Cash said Stafford Hospital, which is currently in the hands of administrators, should be allowed to keep its emergency and acute services, which it could face losing.

"The NHS could stand or fall on the results (of the administration).

"We know what's going on in the media, there are a lot of people who are questioning the NHS and with some justification.

"The fact is that if they get this right, the NHS as a whole will benefit enormously."

He added: "I simply ask the Government and ask the minister to make certain that Stafford Hospital is given the treatment and given the opportunity, not only to prove itself, but to prove that the NHS can work properly."

Health Minister Dan Poulter said local MPs, healthcare providers and clinical commissioning groups would be consulted on the decisions.

But he said the Government could not "dictate" what happens as the administrators must make their decisions without political interference.

Dr Poulter said: "I would expect that the Trust special administrator fully engages with key stakeholders in this process, including clinical commissioning groups, local healthcare providers, local authorities and local MPs, which I have been assured is the case."

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