Thousands gather in protest against Stafford cuts

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

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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.