Specialist hospital plan for Royal Oldham
Reporter: Lucy Kenderdine
Date online: 08 July 2014
THE Royal Oldham could be turned into a specialist hospital if radical plans to reconfigure Greater Manchester’s hospitals go ahead.
Healthier Together, which has been reviewing health and care in Greater Manchester, has put forward the plans which aim to give the public better access to services and deliver better quality care.
A public consultation, which went live today during an event at the Manchester Science and Industry Museum, is urging people to get involved and have their say on the proposals.
Under the plans, which have been developed over the past two years, Royal Oldham Hospital will be one of up to five specialist hospitals dealing with the most severely ill patients with a “single service” team of staff working together across different hospitals.
Other specialist hospitals will include Salford Royal (already an adult neuroscience specialist) and Manchester Royal Infirmary (specialist paediatric services).
Royal Oldham was chosen due to its location as it will reduce, as far as possible, the impact on those needing to travel to a specialist hospital.
The public will be asked to decide whether an additional one or two sites, from a shortlist of Bolton, Wigan, Stockport and Wythenshawe hospitals, will also become specialist hospitals.
Under the plans three hospitals, Fairfield in Bury, Tameside and North Manchester, will be local general hospitals and will continue to carry out planned procedures and general surgery as well as being partnered with a specialist hospital.
Services at Rochdale Infirmary and Trafford General would remain the same under the plans.
It is expected that 96 per cent of patients will still visit their local hospital for accident and emergency, acute medicine services and general surgery with only the very sickest patients taken to a specialist centre for treatment.
No accident and emergency departments will close and there will be no staff cuts, and all facilities will be upgraded to meet agreed quality and safety standards, a standard that even the best hospitals in the area do not currently meet.
To have your say, visit the Healthier Together website www.healthiertogethergm.nhs.uk
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