Almost 3,000 people submitted written responses to an official consultation on plans for the futures of Stafford and Cannock Chase hospitals, it emerged today.
Trust Special Administrators who have drawn up proposals to strip services from Stafford and boost provision at Cannock are now considering the replies before submitting their final report to health watchdog Monitor on October 22.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will then make a final decision by December 31.
Under draft plans Stafford will lose its maternity unit and inpatient paediatric care while critical care will be downgraded.
The shake-up would see University Hospital of North Staffordshire take over the running of Stafford – for which that trust says it will require more than £125 million – with Wolverhampton and Walsall health trusts vying to take over Cannock.
Cannock Chase Hospital can expect more services to be provided at its Brunswick Road site, under the plans.
TSA Alan Bloom said he was pleased with the response to the eight-week consultation.
“We are delighted to say that we have received in total over 2,800 responses, which we will consider along with the issues raised at the numerous meetings that we have attended during the consultation period.”
The TSAs have spoken to more than 2,600 people at eight public consultation meetings. They have also held 20 meetings which were open to all staff along with several meetings with staff from specific clinical areas of expertise.