Passionate residents from Burton and South Derbyshire have thrown their weight behind a campaign to save Burton’s A&E from a potential downgrade, with more than 32,000 people signing a petition to show their support. People have voiced their concerns with the petition, after it was revealed that the A&E department at Queen’s Hospital could be downgraded to an urgent care unit under proposals announced in the Staffordshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan.
The plan drawn up by a county-wide review board, which is looking into how money can be saved on Staffordshire’s health bill while making treatment more efficient. One of the proposals being considered is to downgrade an A&E unit at either Burton, Stafford or Stoke.
The petition, which was set up by Burton MP Andrew Griffiths to present to those making the decisions on the hospitals’ futures, has received 32,068 signatures in the three weeks since it was launched.
Mr Griffiths said: “I am staggered by the scale of the response to the petition. People are going on line, and sharing the Facebook page, and clearly showing their support and love for Burton’s A&E department. This is a real show of people power and it would not have happened without the backing of the people of Burton and the support of the Burton Mail. It is truly phenomenal how many people have added their signature.”
The petition is available online and paper copies are available in shops and businesses around the town, including the Burton Mail office.
Mr Griffiths said: “We need as many people as possible to add their voice to the campaign.We are fighting for the survival of a vital service in Burton. Our friends, families and children rely on this facility and lives depend on it. It takes 30 seconds to sign the petition but doing so could save a life. We need to send a message loud and clear to NHS bosses that the population of Burton are united and that the A&E department must remain in Burton. I have had many discussions about the A&E department unit at Queen’s including with the chief executive of the trust, Helen Scott-South and she agrees with me that it would be unthinkable not to have a 24-hour department in Burton.”
He added, “The town is too big and the demands too great not to have an A&E facility available 24 hours a day. I am confident that the case for Queen’s is so strong that its future is assured. I will be making strong representation and putting the case forward that it would be ludicrous not to have A&E 24 hours a day. Of course it is right to look at how provision of care across the county is provided but I can’t see a viable case for why Burton will not have an A&E unit in Burton.”
To sign the petition online, head to: www.saveburtonaande.com
(Story credited to Ms Rhea Turner of the Burton Mail)