Updated: Thursday, 20th September 2018 @ 10:07am

‘Making changes is vital to secure future’: Health chief supports axing of Trafford General Hospital A&E

‘Making changes is vital to secure future’: Health chief supports axing of Trafford General Hospital A&E

By Ben Southworth

A Trafford health chief has supported yesterday’s confirmation that Trafford General’s accident and emergency unit will be closed. 

The announcement from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that plans for the closure of the accident and emergency unit at Trafford General will go ahead has been met with discontent, particularly by those who campaigned rigorously for the survival of the unit.

However, following a review that discovered the hospital was running £19million over budget, it was decided that the accident and emergency unit would be downgraded to an urgent care unit as part of a serious redesign of the hospital.

Amid fears that this is the beginning of the end for Trafford General, Dr Nigel Guest, chief clinical officer at Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Making changes to services at Trafford General is vital to secure a long and vibrant future for the hospital.

“It will ensure that local residents can continue to receive safe and high quality care.”

The Independent Reconfiguration Panel review concluded that since Trafford General’s A&E unit is one of the smallest in the country and only treats a relatively low number of patients for unplanned emergency or acute care, it is clinically unsafe to continue running the facility.

Typically, Trafford A&E carries out only one emergency surgery each day, while on average just six to 12 patients pass through between the hours of midnight and 8am each day.

It is thought that the changes will mean Trafford General still treats 75% of its current patients.

Many patients with life-threatening illnesses or injuries are already not taken to Trafford General Hospital.

The review concluded that these factors combined mean that the future of the hospital is under threat if services stay the same.

Dr Guest added: “The approval of the proposals is a significant step in securing high quality, sustainable local health services for the people of Trafford.

“We can assure residents that they will be told in advance before any changes are made so that clinical staff and patients are clear on what services will be available, where they will be available, and what times those services will be open.”

The implementation of the plans, confirmed yesterday, will see Trafford General become a centre of excellence for orthopaedic work, as well as an increase in outpatient care and in the amount of day case surgery available from the hospital.

On top of the downgrading of the accident and emergency unit, the paediatric observation and assessment unit and intensive care facilities will also be shut down.

Picture courtesy of Kieran Lamb, with thanks.

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