Staffordshire A&E unit could be downgraded in £542m savings plan

One of three A&E departments in Staffordshire could be downgraded as part of plans to save £542m. More than 260 hospital and community hospital beds could close, along with bigger GP centres serving up to 70,000 people.

All local health and care providers in England are putting together five-year sustainability and transformation plans to make savings. The changes will cost £120m, a spokesman said.

Under the proposals, 167 community hospital beds could close, 85 at Longton and Cheadle and 20 at Haywood Hospital. It is not clear yet which A&E unit could be downgraded, but officials said any specific areas will go out to public consultation, with decisions not being taken until the end of 2017.

Mental health services will also be looked at and “treated on an equal basis with [a person’s] physical health needs”, the report said. Officials estimate that by 2019, the number of people aged 85 and over in Staffordshire will rise by 22% putting pressure on health services.

Full story at BBC News 15 December 2016