An early start
5am on October 3rd 2014 saw a group of protesters from the Support Stafford Hospital group travel to University Hospital North Staffs to stage an "occupy" type protest at plans to move further services away from Stafford Hospital.
They were joined on the day by several members of the North Staffordshire People's Assembly Against Austerity who wanted to help them highlight the effect of these "reforms" on health services to local people.
With travel times of over an hour commonplace between the two hospitals, and bed shortages already affecting UHNS before services are transferred, there are real concerns for people's lives! One NSPAAA campaigner commented:
"A lot of people up here don't realise what is going on, but there is just not enough room to take all these patients from other areas.
"There will be even longer delays in A&E and waits for care if this [transfer] is allowed."
Hundreds of Stafford-based staff are due to transfer to the UHNS trust from next month and a wide range of services, including complex childbirth, critical care and paediatrics, are scheduled to move by the spring despite risk assessments required by law not having been completed.