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140820staffordcamp1

If you don’t live in Stafford or the surrounding area, you won’t have heard that the people of Stafford have gone to extraordinary lengths to try to save their hospital, writes Steve Walker in his Skwawkbox blog.

For some time now, a ‘Greenham Common’-style camp – started and entirely run by ordinary local citizens – has been pitched outside the hospital to protest against the relentless plans by the government’s ‘TSA’ (Trust Special Administrator) and to try to save vital health services.

You would think, all things being equal in a 24hr-news age, that such an unusual thing would have attracted the interest of all kinds of media – at the very least as ‘filler’ on thin news days. But apart from a few mentions in the local media and in the blog of local activist group SSH (‘Support Stafford Hospital), the existence of the camp has been conspicuous by its absence in the press and on television.

Coverage of the supposed – and entirely fallacious – ‘excessive mortality scandal’ at the hospital, and mentions of it by right-wing politicians, have by contrast been constant and relentless, and in spite of very rare exposure of the real facts about Stafford’s mortality statistics, ‘the Stafford hospital scandal’ continues to be (mis)used by the mainstream media as a byword for the inadequacy of the NHS.

Yet when the people of Stafford, who supposedly were failed over a period of years by an atrocious hospital, camp outdoors in all weathers to support the hospital – as they have consistently supported its staff – there has been not a peep from the health correspondents of the national news media.

You would almost suspect a hidden agenda.

Read the rest on the Skwawkbox blog.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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