Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford hospital to admit chest patients at night

Stafford Hospital sign
Image caption Stafford Hospital has not admitted patients at night since the part closure of A&E in December 2011

Emergency patients suffering from chest pains will be admitted to Stafford Hospital at night from next month.

The hospital has not admitted any patients at night since its A&E department closed between the hours of 22:00 and 08:00 last December.

It said it expected to treat two patients a night who would have otherwise been sent to hospitals in Wolverhampton or Stoke-on-Trent.

Only patients brought by ambulance would be admitted, the hospital said.

Medical director Robert Courteney-Harris said patients would be treated from 4 December but only "once the appropriate protocols were in place".

"We are delighted to be working with our commissioning partners to improve the experience of, initially, a small number of patients who are currently being redirected to other hospitals at night," he said.

'Positive step'

The hospital said about 15 ambulances a night were currently being diverted to other hospitals.

Cheryl Porter, from Brocton, who set up the Support Stafford Hospital group, said it was "a positive step".

At a meeting in September the hospital commissioning board decided to keep A&E closed overnight because it was concerned about "the sustainability of a 24-hour service".

The board said it was also worried about "the dilution of senior staff presence".

It said it was looking at a 24/7 emergency and urgent care service, which would be set up at the hospital as a pilot by December.

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