Trafford General: 'birthplace of the NHS' to lose A&E

Trafford General Hospital Mr Hunt said the hospital will be a specialist orthopaedic centre

The hospital that treated the first NHS patient is to lose its accident and emergency department.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that Trafford General Hospital will be downgraded to an urgent care centre and then a minor injuries unit.

He also announced the concentration of vascular services in Cumbria and Lancashire at three specialist centres in Carlisle, Blackburn and Preston.

Campaigners said it would mean patients travelling further for treatment.

Matthew Finnegan, chair of the Save Trafford General campaign, said: "These decisions can't just be made by clinicians.

"They have got to listen to what local people say and people want an A&E. It's not an unreasonable request.

"Local people will be appalled and disgusted that they have not been listened to."

'Clinical benefits'

Mr Hunt told the Commons Trafford was the "smallest hospital in the UK" with the "second smallest accident and emergency department".

Between midnight and 08:00 BST it only sees two patients an hour, he said.

"At peak times it sees seven patients an hour. Half of the population use services outside Trafford.

"For too long, people have not been getting the type of service they should, and deserve to receive."

Start Quote

I'm desperately worried our local NHS simply won't be able to cope”

End Quote Kate Green MP

He also announced A&E services at neighbouring Wythenshawe Hospital are to expand. Trafford will also become a specialist orthopaedic centre with day services expanded.

Mr Hunt admitted some patients would have to travel further but claimed the "clinical benefits outweigh the disadvantages of travel times".

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green was not informed of the Trafford announcement, which he said was "disgraceful."

He said it was an insult to people who "should have rightly expected the voice of their elected Member of Parliament to be heard".

Ms Green later said that "local people will be angry, horrified and worried" by the decision.

"I'm desperately worried our local NHS simply won't be able to cope," she added.

Dr Nigel Guest, chief clinical officer at Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group, said the change was "vital to secure a long and vibrant future for the hospital".

A Department of Health spokeswoman confirmed that changes will only take place at Trafford once assurances have been given that the three neighbouring A&E departments can continue to provide the same level of service and consistently meet standards.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Abandoned stadiumShow's over...

    ...but what happens next? BBC Culture takes a look at what happens to abandoned stadiums

Programmes

  • A woman sits on a bed in a scene from Gustav Deutsch's latest film about Edward Hopper's paintingsTalking Movies Watch

    How film-maker Gustav Deutsch brought Edward Hopper’s paintings to life

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.