The latest news on the further delay to the reopening of the maternity unit at Macclesfield Hospital, after its temporary closure in March 2020, is very disappointing.
I have spoken to John Wilbraham, the Chief Executive of East Cheshire NHS Trust which runs Macclesfield Hospital, to express my strong concerns and those of other residents about the latest announcement, which will mean that the service will not re-open as planned in December. He has explained that there is a genuine commitment to reopen the services from the Trust and other important NHS stakeholders, including NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, but that other factors including the rise in coronavirus cases and concerns about winter pressures have led to this latest decision.
It is good to have this commitment to reopen reconfirmed, but I have urged Mr Wilbraham to actively work with the relevant stakeholders to develop a sustainable plan that will give local families the confidence that these much-valued services will return and provide a clear re-opening date that can be relied upon. These continue to be challenging times, but after 19 months of temporary closure, with more to follow, families in Macclesfield and in other neighbouring communities as far afield as Buxton, Knutsford and Leek need greater certainty about these vital local maternity services.