Council leader hits back at fears over Healthier Together

Lord Peter Smith

Lord Peter Smith

First published in News

LORD Peter Smith has hit back at claims that Healthier Together could reduce health services in the borough.

The leader of Wigan Council and Dr Tim Dalton, the clinical chair of Wigan’s clinical commissioning group, are calling on the public to have their say on the shake-up of NHS services.

Under the plans, there would be four or five hospitals in Greater Manchester designated as specialist centres and Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary could become either of the two options.

Some care professionals have voiced their concerns that Leigh Infirmary may be affected if Wigan Infirmary is not designated in as a specialist hospital.

Lord Smith, who is also chair of Greater Manchester’s combined authority AGMA, said: “Throughout this whole process, we’ve made absolutely clear to those doctors coming up with the plans that patient care has to be the overriding priority.

“These are complex proposals and unfortunately some people have either misunderstood them or are deliberately misrepresenting them. Ultimately, Healthier Together will lead to better services and more lives saved.

“I was personally involved in the process to draw up these plans and I made it clear I would not accept any reduction in services in Wigan.”

They are urging everyone to get involved in the Healthier Together review, which has been designed by doctors with the aim of improving care for patients across Greater Manchester.

Dr Tim Dalton said: “These plans have been put together by doctors who want to deliver the best possible services in the best possible way to the public. That may mean changes to how services are delivered but that’s the right thing to do if it leads to improved care.”

For more information on the consultation, which runs until Wednesday, September 30, visit healthiertogethergm.nhs.uk. Consultation documents are also available GPs, in hospitals and in libraries.

Comments (2)

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1:44pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Hulton Park says...

If this is rattling His Lordship's cage, that can be no bad thing. The Greater Manchester quangos, of which he is chief pooh-bah, are more used to operating without such mundaneconsideration
s as what the public actually wants. A real consultation (as opposed to the kind that take place after decisions have been made) is thus a bit of a bind.

Lord Smith must know that, in the long run, any reorganisation of hospitals in the light of a "Greater Manchester" perspective is going to lead to the downgrading of Wigan RAEI, because the hospital and the town are seen as "peripheral" to the area.

It is - unbelievable, but true - actually under consideration that no specialist centre be located west of Salford Royal (Hope) - in other words, all five specialist centres could be located within 6 miles of Piccadilly.

Why? Because when the term "Greater Manchester " is used, what is too often really in planners' minds is the immediate Manchester area - not the 1974 county.

Many members of his own party - Ian McCartney, Graham Stringer, Leigh's own Andy Burnham - have grave reservations about this grandiose exercise. Indeed, the NHS, prior to the creation of the Greater Manchester Combined Quango, had got rid of the Greater Manchester tier, precisely because it does not make sense in health planning terms.
If this is rattling His Lordship's cage, that can be no bad thing. The Greater Manchester quangos, of which he is chief pooh-bah, are more used to operating without such mundaneconsideration s as what the public actually wants. A real consultation (as opposed to the kind that take place after decisions have been made) is thus a bit of a bind. Lord Smith must know that, in the long run, any reorganisation of hospitals in the light of a "Greater Manchester" perspective is going to lead to the downgrading of Wigan RAEI, because the hospital and the town are seen as "peripheral" to the area. It is - unbelievable, but true - actually under consideration that no specialist centre be located west of Salford Royal (Hope) - in other words, all five specialist centres could be located within 6 miles of Piccadilly. Why? Because when the term "Greater Manchester " is used, what is too often really in planners' minds is the immediate Manchester area - not the 1974 county. Many members of his own party - Ian McCartney, Graham Stringer, Leigh's own Andy Burnham - have grave reservations about this grandiose exercise. Indeed, the NHS, prior to the creation of the Greater Manchester Combined Quango, had got rid of the Greater Manchester tier, precisely because it does not make sense in health planning terms. Hulton Park
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Hulton Park says...

If this is rattling His Lordship's cage, that can be no bad thing. The Greater Manchester quangos, of which he is chief pooh-bah, are more used to operating without such mundaneconsideration
s as what the public actually wants. A real consultation (as opposed to the kind that take place after decisions have been made) is thus a bit of a bind.

Lord Smith must know that, in the long run, any reorganisation of hospitals in the light of a "Greater Manchester" perspective is going to lead to the downgrading of Wigan RAEI, because the hospital and the town are seen as "peripheral" to the area.

It is - unbelievable, but true - actually under consideration that no specialist centre be located west of Salford Royal (Hope) - in other words, all five specialist centres could be located within 6 miles of Piccadilly.

Why? Because when the term "Greater Manchester " is used, what is too often really in planners' minds is the immediate Manchester area - not the 1974 county.

Many members of his own party - Ian McCartney, Graham Stringer, Leigh's own Andy Burnham - have grave reservations about this grandiose exercise. Indeed, the NHS, prior to the creation of the Greater Manchester Combined Quango, had got rid of the Greater Manchester tier, precisely because it does not make sense in health planning terms.
If this is rattling His Lordship's cage, that can be no bad thing. The Greater Manchester quangos, of which he is chief pooh-bah, are more used to operating without such mundaneconsideration s as what the public actually wants. A real consultation (as opposed to the kind that take place after decisions have been made) is thus a bit of a bind. Lord Smith must know that, in the long run, any reorganisation of hospitals in the light of a "Greater Manchester" perspective is going to lead to the downgrading of Wigan RAEI, because the hospital and the town are seen as "peripheral" to the area. It is - unbelievable, but true - actually under consideration that no specialist centre be located west of Salford Royal (Hope) - in other words, all five specialist centres could be located within 6 miles of Piccadilly. Why? Because when the term "Greater Manchester " is used, what is too often really in planners' minds is the immediate Manchester area - not the 1974 county. Many members of his own party - Ian McCartney, Graham Stringer, Leigh's own Andy Burnham - have grave reservations about this grandiose exercise. Indeed, the NHS, prior to the creation of the Greater Manchester Combined Quango, had got rid of the Greater Manchester tier, precisely because it does not make sense in health planning terms. Hulton Park
  • Score: 0

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