Around 40 people have set up camp outside Stafford Hospital in protest at plans to downgrade the services there. Accident and emergency, paediatrics and maternity ward are all set to be scrapped. If the changes go ahead, locals would be forced to travel all the way to Stoke or Wolverhampton in the event of a medical emergency.
The protest was organised after it was discovered that two applications for a judicial review of the decision to downgrade the hospital had been rejected. The Support Stafford Hospital campaign plans on appealing against the decision, but have camped outside the hospital to publicise the issue and build support.
The camp has received visits from other campaigns in defence of hospitals and the NHS from around the country. A delegation from the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign, as well as from Charing Cross hospital, arrived to give their support and to talk about their similar struggles to defend the health service.