Stepping Hill’s specialist status petition gathers pace as hospital gets £17m revamp

More than 1,000 have backed Stepping Hill’s bid to gain specialist status – as it is announced the Stockport hospital is getting a £17million cash injection. 

The petition, driven by the Hazel Grove’s prospective Liberal Democrat MP Lisa Smart, has been signed by more than 1,000 people.

After the significant growth of the campaign, Ms Smart was delighted to hand over the proposal to the Minister of State for Care and Support RT Hon Norman Lamb MP earlier this week.

She said: “This is the most popular petition we have ever run in Hazel Grove Constituency.

“I would like to thank every single one of the 1,000 and more local people who have signed the petition.

“The support for Stepping Hill Hospital has been tremendous and the petition has certainly galvanised support from the local community.”

The specialist facility status is vital to Stepping Hill as it ensures the hospital can continue to provide emergency surgery for patients, improve clinical effectiveness and enhance patient experience.

Ms Smart’s petition opts for five rather than four specialist hospitals in Greater Manchester despite costing more and taking more time to achieve – she believes the positive outcomes for patients outweigh the negatives and logistics.

Earlier this year, Sir Andrew Stunell OBE, told MM: “I am a great supporter of Stepping Hill Hospital and want to see it become one of the top few specialist hospitals in Greater Manchester rather than a general hospital.

“I believe that Stepping Hill should be a specialist hospital to ensure that it can continue providing the very highest level of emergency service for the people of Stockport.”

In addition to the push for a specialist hospital status, plans have also emerged for a huge regeneration, which will see Stepping Hill gain a brand new patient ward.

Opening in 2016, the development will be based near the existing A&E department and is aiming to further improve patient services at the hospital.

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust are responsible for running Stepping Hill Hospital.

Their Chief Executive Ann Barnes said: “This development is part of our strategic regeneration. It will provide a greatly improved environment for our patients and staff.”

The new patient ward will be a three storey building with 150 beds.

It will house an acute medical unit, surgical assessment unit, two operating theatres, a short stay surgical unit and wards for general surgery and urology patients.

After the work is completed by Integrated Health Projects (IHP) – a joint venture between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine – numerous existing wards will be demolished.

Stepping Hill is the second largest employer in the town and currently treats more than half a million patients a year.

Both the announcements come as good news in light of recent events concerning patient safety at the hospital.

Just a few years ago, in 2011, the hospital was at the forefront of national news after the contamination of saline drips with insulin led to patient poisonings and deaths.

The criminal investigation into the poisonings is still on-going.

Image courtesy of Yakinodi, via Flickr, with thanks

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