Specialist status: Hazel Grove MP leads battle to beat NHS cuts to Stepping Hill Hospital’s emergency care

A Hazel Grove MP has launched a campaign to see Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital become a specialist facility to ensure it can continue to provide emergency surgery to patients.

Sir Andrew Stunell has spoken out in reaction to a NHS review that could mean only specialist hospital can conduct surgery in A&E.

The Healthier Together review, which evaluated services in Greater Manchester, is proposing to condense emergency and high-risk surgery services to just four or five specialist hospitals. 

Sir Stunell OBE told MM: “I am a great supporter of Stepping Hill Hospital and want to see it become one of the top few specialist hospitals in Greater Manchester rather than a general hospital.

“I believe that Stepping Hill should be a specialist hospital to ensure that it can continue providing the very highest level of emergency service for the people of Stockport.”

Healthier Together suggested that local or general hospitals would still have A&E departments, however, they would only provide treatment where surgery was not needed.

Stepping Hill Hospital has been embroiled in controversy in recent years, particularly following the hospital poisoning incident resulting in a series of deaths in 2011.

Consequently, the hospital increased its security after a nurse appeared in court accused of murdering three patients.

Stepping Hill is currently one of ten hospitals across Greater Manchester undertaking emergency and high-risk surgery.

Liberal Democrat Stunell is concerned that the hospital losing specialist status would have serious consequences for patients beyond Greater Manchester too.

The High Peak and the borders of North Derbyshire and East Cheshire are also named as areas of concern as the required 45 minutes of ambulance response time may not be achievable.

The NHS is encouraging Greater Manchester residents to complete a Healthier Together questionnaire, where the public can voice their opinions about which hospitals should retain their specialist status.

Lisa Smart, Liberal Democrat MP candidate for Hazel Grove, said:  “We believe the strongest option for Stepping Hill Hospital is option 5.4”, which supports Stepping Hill becoming specialist.

To take part in the consultation, visit the Healthier Together website. 

Image courtesy of CommunitiesUK via YouTube with thanks

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