Healthier Together hospital plans finalised

12th August 2015

A hospital within easy travelling distance of much of Eastern Cheshire has been chosen as the fourth site to provide emergency medicine and specialist abdominal surgery in Greater Manchester, as part of Healthier Together.

NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG has welcomed the decision of the Healthier Together programme to select Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport as one of four sites to work as part of a single service.

The decision was made unanimously by the programme’s Committees in Common on 15 July 2015, after CCG chief officer Jerry Hawker had written to Healthier Together leaders to say that a single service option in the South or South East Sector of Greater Manchester was in the best interests of the population of Eastern Cheshire.

Factors considered by Healthier Together in choosing its sites included maximum travel times, quality and safety, affordability, value for money, feedback from public consultation  and ease of making the changes.

Healthier Together

The Healthier Together decision does not mean that all Eastern Cheshire people will be taken to Stepping Hill for emergency medicine or specialist abdominal surgery. It will depend on factors including ambulance travel times to the nearest specialist site. For example, it is likely that patients from the Congleton and Holmes Chapel area would be taken to the University Hospital North Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent.

Under the arrangement approved by the Committees in Common, Stepping Hill will work with Tameside General Hospital as a single service. This means the two hospitals will work in partnership, sharing a team of medical staff operating across sites.

Other hospitals working in partnership to provide shared single services are as follows:

  • Manchester Royal Infirmary, Wythenshawe Hospital and Trafford General Hospital
  • Royal Oldham Hospital, North Manchester General Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, and Rochdale Infirmary
  • Salford Royal Hospital, Royal Bolton Hospital and Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan.

Healthier Together leaders say there is evidence that concentrating specialist services on fewer hospital sites has already saved lives and improved patient care. Healthier Together is an important part of the move towards a fully devolved health and social care system in Greater Manchester.

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