Manchester

Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust 'putting lives at risk'

Pennine Acute Trust
Image caption Pennine Acute Trust has no extra winter funding because of financial difficulties

Elderly and vulnerable people in Greater Manchester are being put at risk due to the failings of its biggest health trust, councillors have claimed.

Pennine Acute NHS Trust, which covers hospitals in Rochdale, Bury and north Manchester, has declared it has no additional funding for this winter.

Rochdale council's Liberal Democrats will table a no confidence vote later.

The trust said the changes it was implementing would "improve and modernise health services".

More than 1,500 residents across the borough have signed a petition against the trust, created by Councillor Jean Ashworth, who chairs the metropolitan borough council's health overview and scrutiny committee.

They want to see new management brought in and a full review into the trust by the secretary of state for health.

Hospitals under Pennine Acute NHS Trust have had above average death rates for the past six years, according to Dr Foster's health survey which looks at mortality figures across the country.

The motion, which has been seconded by Councillor Dale Mulgrew, stated there was widespread concern over the trust's "financial difficulties" and "lives were being put at risk".

In a memo, the trust has declared "urgent financial recovery measures" which include no additional funding for winter, closure of two discharge lounges and temporary bed closures.

Financial difficulties

Ms Ashworth told the BBC that the trust had pledged to build a "Cardiology Centre of Excellence" but it had recently reneged on that promise.

However, a spokesman for Pennine Acute NHS Trust said mortality rates had improved this year and all the proposals that had been announced had been put through consultation and agreed by the council.

"The proposals outlined in the Healthy Futures and Making It Better reconfiguration programmes were subject to public consultation four years ago.

"Pennine Acute Trust supported the proposals, as did the regional strategic health authority. The proposals have received clinical support.

"The trust is therefore implementing the agreed decisions about how services are provided across its hospitals and Greater Manchester."

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