Manchester

Wythenshawe super hospital: Judicial review 'valuable'

Wythenshawe Hospital
Image caption Healthier Together's plan will see Wythenshawe Hospital lose its status as a specialist emergency surgery centre

The group creating four Greater Manchester "super hospitals" has said a legal review of plans to downgrade a facility will be "valuable".

Healthier Together wants to create specialist centres in Stockport, Manchester, Salford and Oldham.

Wythenshawe staff have been granted a judicial review over the rejection of their hospital as a specialist centre for emergency surgery.

The review will be heard by a High Court judge on 8 and 9 December.

Keep Wythenshawe Special campaigners mounted a legal challenge following Healthier Together's announcement in July that Stockport's Stepping Hill, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Salford Royal and Royal Oldham would become specialist centres.

The plan will see the centres recruit an extra 35 consultants across A&E and general surgery, providing at least 12 hours of cover a day in the emergency department, seven days a week.

'Up in arms'

Dr Nigel Guest, of Healthier Together - a review by NHS leaders - said it was unfortunate a judicial review had been granted but it would be "valuable to go through".

He said the "last thing" the group wanted was "not to have safe services" at the hospital, which was something the campaigners agreed with.

Consultant surgeon Andrew MacDonald, of Keep Wythenshawe Special, said the decision to downgrade the hospital was "madness".

"The heads of all the services in the hospital think losing emergency general surgery makes those services non-viable and unsafe.

"To do the specialist work I do and look after these complex patients, I need a full team around me and their plans just don't have that - that is why we are up in arms."

The campaign has been backed by the local community and MPs, including Altrincham and Sale West's Graham Brady, who said downgrading the hospital "poses a threat to patient safety".

A £30,000 anonymous donation was recently made to the campaign, which hopes to raise £100,000 to pay legal fees.

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