Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Stafford Hospital shuts overnight A&E services


Stafford Hospital has shut its accident and emergency unit at night due to staff shortages.

The planned closure of Stafford Hospital’s accident and emergency department between 10pm to 8am started last night and will last three months. The hospital is at the centre of a £10m public inquiry into standards of care.

The closure coincided with the end of a 139-day public inquiry set up after a 2009 Healthcare Commission report discovered “appalling standards” of care at the hospital.

Patients requiring A&E treatment overnight will be dealt with by neighbouring hospitals.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, announced the temporary closure of the department last month.

Chief executive Lyn Hill-Tout said there were not enough doctors and consultants to keep it open 24 hours a day, admitting that the problem was “partly due to the reputation of the trust”.

She said at the time: “Our emergency department is safe. However, because of the number of doctor vacancies we need to close it temporarily at night, which will allow resources to be focused on daytime activity, thus increasing quality of care, and this will also allow a period for intense staff development. Our overriding concern is to keep patients safe.”

Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected at the hospital between 2005 and 2008, with the Healthcare Commission discovering a catalogue of failings and appalling standards which put patients at risk.

It said managers were distracted by targets and cost-cutting, while it accused regulators of failing to identify problems quickly enough despite warnings from staff and patients.

The public inquiry began last year and has heard evidence from more than 180 witnesses at an estimated cost of £10m.

A million pages of evidence have been presented to the chairman, Robert Francis QC who is expected to publish his findings next year.



Readers' comments (3)

  • What a moronic, short sighted and simply stupid situation.

    I mean, almost every ward in every hospital is understaffed, some dangerously so, yet the fools at the top simply refuse to rectify the situation and persist with job cuts and job freezes?!?!?!

    Lets just shut all the wards down eh? Lets shut all the hospitals, cancel the clinics and the ambulance services. If the powers that be don't see us as important enough to staff properly, then obviously the country can do without a health service can't they?

    Why the hell are such moronic non jobs allowed to make such a mess of things?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • tinkerbell

    my sentiments entirely Mike and will the last one to leave please turn out the lights. Allegedly as punishment for the strikes (per the daily mirror) instead of 400,000 proposed job cuts in the public sector there will now be 710,000.

    We have been asked by our trust today if we would like to voluntarily reduce our hours next april 2012 for three months trial period. I was going to do this anyway but now think i will have it on a 'trial' period instead but probably will be asked 'why' as i was going to reduce permanently, but hey if its on offer now i want to see if i like it first and can make ends meet.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • tinkerbell

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.