A CONSULTATION is under way to determine which hospitals in Greater Manchester should be given specialist status under the new Healthier Together proposals.

Up to five hospitals including Oldham, Manchester Central and Salford Royal are set to be given specialist status.

Royal Bolton Hospital and Wigan Infirmary are under consideration but it is likely that only one – if either – will be granted specialist status, meaning the other will no longer be able to carry out emergency and complex surgery.

Chief executive of Bolton NHS Trust Dr Jackie Bene told the Journal why she felt Bolton should be granted specialist status.

“The principle of the current proposal is to bring the standards of care up across Greater Manchester because there is a lot of variability in outcomes for patients,” she said.

“I don’t disagree with the principles we should try to raise the standards of care for our patients but I think we have got to do that safely. However, from our perspective we clearly would like to be a specialist centre.

“We have an emergency centre for women’s and children’s services and only central Manchester and Oldham also do and it is important to us that we retain some emergency services because of that.

“The fact we provide that emergency surgery for children as well as adults makes us anxious to retain that sort of specialist status.

“A significant proportion of Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley patients come here and a lot of their GPs send their patients here.”

  • Over the coming weeks we will be speaking to doctors and patients to find out more about the new Healthier Together proposals and how they will affect the Leigh area.
  • You can have your say by emailing newsdesk@leighjournal. co.uk or visit leighjournal.co.uk n To find out more about the plans visit boltonft.nhs.uk/2014/07/ healthier-together-proposals.