Campaign groups in Stoke-on-Trent are fighting back against plans to close community hospital beds.
Residents, councillors and relatives have launched a postcard campaign to lobby Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt after the loss of Longton Cottage, Cheadle and a ward at Hayward.
Bradwell is the next hospital on the North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s hit list.
It is due to close at the end of March after twice earning a stay of execution due to pressures at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Irene Sutton, senior staff nurse at Bradwell Hospital, fears commissioners across the UK have adopted a mantra that does not place need, patient experience or quality at the heart of decision making.
She stressed: “Blame culture and scapegoating of an elderly population has to stop.
“It is no one’s fault but it is where we’re at.
“The pressures in A&E are well reported and Royal Stoke suffers more than most.
“The scale and pace of changes with no consultation leaves me scared for my patients and closing more community beds at this time is downright dangerous.”
The group discussed the new Postcard Campaign scheme which is now underway.
It has created 1,500 postcards addressed to Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt.
Cllr Allison Gardener, who represents Chesterton in Newcastle, said: “We want as many people to handwrite these postcards, sign them, pay for their own stamp and send them to Hunt in a bid to get him to rethink his decisions to close the community care beds.
“We have 1,500 postcards to send. He might just get the message.
“We really want him to listen to us.”
Marcus Warnes, accountable officer for North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We remain committed to the principles of providing care within or as close to people’s homes or place of residence whenever possible.
“As a result, fewer community beds will be needed in the future.
“Temporarily closing a number of intermediate beds to new admissions has allowed us to invest money to treat more people in the community, and many more in their own homes.”
The consultation for the closure of Bradwell Community Hospital beds has been delayed until May 8.