I joined the march this afternoon to show support for the retention of all the current acute servies at Stafford Hospital following the recommendations made by Monitor. Having been involved in the planning of the event I knew that the organisers were expecting at the most 20,000 people to attend. The estimates of the number of people who showed up to demonstrate their support varied from 30 to 40000 people. Truly amazing. It took two hours for the end of the march to reach the rallying point in the hospital grounds from the market square.
I am aware that most people from Barlaston are referred to UHNS for hospital treatment but my concern is that if capacity is taken out of the system locally, waiting lists will increase and access to the remaining services will be more difficult.
Today represented the start of what I fear will be a long hard struggle