There are a number of reasons why health services need to be provided differently in Trafford:
Changing health needs
Across the UK patterns of disease and illness are changing. More patients than ever before are now surviving illnesses such as stroke and cancer and as a result, need ongoing treatment and support (most of which can be provided either at home or in the local community).
Very few people nowadays need to stay in hospital for long periods of time. New technologies and medical advances now enable most patients to be cared for close to or in their own homes.
People are also living longer. Our ageing population (many of whom have lots of health problems) require a lot of ongoing medical care, which again, can be provided in their own homes.
Across the borough, there are large differences in life expectancy, which is largely dependent upon whether residents live in the most and least deprived areas, or whether they are men or women. Nearly eight out of ten deaths are due to one of three causes: heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer. These conditions also affect older people more than younger people.
Changing pathways of care
Trafford General Hospital is one of the smallest hospitals in England with the second smallest accident and emergency (A&E) department. At its busiest hour, on an average day, the accident and emergency department is only treating seven people. Seven out of ten people who need an unplanned stay in hospital go to one of three other local hospitals outside of Trafford.
Care is nowadays being delivered more and more in specialist centres with specialist clinicians performing high numbers of varied operations. Trafford General Hospital is not a specialist centre and some of the clinical departments are not busy enough to allow doctors to keep their skills up, which means that services in the future could become unsafe.
Patients with life threatening illnesses or injuries (including head injuries, heart attacks and suspected strokes) are not taken to Trafford General Hospital because it doesn’t deal with major trauma cases. Instead, they are automatically taken by ambulance to one of the three local specialist centres, where they will receive the most appropriate and clinically effective care.
Trafford Healthcare Trust, the organisation that previously ran the borough's hospitals had a financial deficit. To secure the future of Trafford's hospitals and tackle their financial issues, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acquired Trafford Healthcare Trust.
Moving care out of expensive hospital settings and providing it in or closer to people’s homes, will mean fewer journeys for patients and more money that can be invested in providing more and improved health care in our local communities.
Find out how the residents of Trafford have already been involved in indentifying what people want and need from their local health services.