All 64 beds to shut at Bradwell Hospital within days

Campaigners have lost their fight against the closure of 64 hospital beds – after NHS bosses revealed they will close within days.

Thousands of people joined the protests after controversial plans were drawn up to shut all the beds at Bradwell Hospital. The beds were given a stay of execution over the winter after receiving emergency funding from the Royal Stoke University Hospital – at a cost to taxpayers of £600,000-a-month.

But the funding runs out today and the Royal Stoke says it no longer needs the beds. It means all the beds at community hospitals in Bradwell, Cheadle and Longton have closed before the start of a major consultation into the future of the sites.

Royal Stoke chief executive Paula Clark said: “We have always been clear that we support the principle of the closure of the Bradwell Hospital beds.

“But we needed to be assured that there were enough suitable alternatives in place for patients. This was not the case during the winter of 2016/17 due to extreme pressures on all health and care services locally and nationally, so all partners agreed that the beds should remain open.

“During the last six weeks, the number of patients at Bradwell has steadily reduced as North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups and Stoke-on-Trent City Council have worked exceptionally hard to put additional packages of care in place.

“The CCGs have now put forward appropriate care proposals for the remaining patients which means the wards will be empty by the end of the week.”

Full story in The Stoke Sentinel, 28 March 2017