New single trust should run Manchester's hospitals, report says

Hospitals Image copyright Google
Image caption Manchester Royal Infirmary, North Manchester General and Wythenshawe Hospital would be run by a single NHS trust if the merger goes ahead

Three of Manchester's biggest hospitals should be merged into one city-wide NHS Trust, a review has recommended.

Manchester Royal Infirmary, Wythenshawe and North Manchester General hospitals would be run by a single organisation.

The report, commissioned by Manchester Health and Wellbeing Board, said the city had an "unacceptable level of variation" in clinical outcomes.

The three trusts that run the hospitals have been asked to "consider how [a merger] can best be achieved".

In April Greater Manchester became the first English region to take control of its health spending, £6bn annually, as part of an extension of devolved powers.

'Duplication and gaps'

Sir Jonathan Michael carried out the City of Manchester Single Hospital Service Review.

He found that because the hospitals were run by three different bodies; Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust (CMFT), University Hospitals of South Manchester Foundation Trust (UHSM) and Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust which runs North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH), there was "duplication" and "gaps in healthcare".

Sir Jonathan rejected the idea of creating a "hospital chain", which is the model being pursued by the acute trusts in Salford, Wigan and Bolton.

He recommended:

  • A single hospital service model should be developed across Manchester
  • The creation of a new organisation, responsible for services currently provided by CMFT, UHSM and NMGH, providing the best opportunity to deliver the benefits of a single hospital service
  • Trust boards should enter into a discussion over the next six weeks to consider how the creation of a single organisation to run hospital services in Manchester would best be achieved

Sir Mike Deegan, chief executive of CMFT, said he was "strongly supportive" of entering the discussions about how to create a single organisation.

Barry Clare, chairman of UHSM, said the trust was "fully committed" to consider the proposals. Sir David Dalton, interim chief executive of Pennine Acute, said "the proposals should take account of the ongoing review of services in the north-east of Greater Manchester".

Sir Jonathan's report will be considered by Manchester's Health and Wellbeing Board on 8 June.

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