Health bosses have confirmed the North West Ambulance Service has been fully engaged in the planning process for a proposed redesign of hospital based services in Trafford and has undertaken a detailed analysis of emergency travel times from a range of areas within Trafford.
It has used national healthcare guidance, which recommends that major trauma centres should be accessible to patients within a 45 minute travelling time. The review by the North West Ambulance Service confirms that regardless of where a resident lives, this can be achieved in Trafford.
Furthermore, the Ambulance Trust have confirmed that the changes being proposed for hospital services in Trafford will not have a negative impact on the response times to reach Trafford residents.
Dr George Kissen, medical director of NHS Trafford, said: “Ambulances will still be dispatched from their current locations within Trafford, and the 8 minute response time for a life threatening condition will still apply. Paramedics will continue as now, to assess a patient’s condition and give essential medical treatment and care en route to hospital. It is important to remember that Paramedics are trained to resuscitate and stabilise patients using advanced life support skills if these are required.”
One of the concerns raised by local residents during the consultation is that the ambulance journey from some parts of Trafford might take longer and that patients could suffer as a result.
But the figures produced by the North West Ambulance Service show it will be possible to transfer patients from all parts of Trafford to appropriate A&E services safely and effectively at all times and within national guidelines. However, it is recognized that one area of the borough is likely to experience a longer journey of approximately 10 minutes. NHS Trafford is therefore working hard with the North West Ambulance Service to identify ways of providing improved access and emergency cover in the area.
Consultation on the changes put forward under the New Health Deal for Trafford has been under way since July, and this includes the proposal that the Urgent Care Centre would close between midnight and 8am. During this time, patients requiring an ambulance from Trafford would be taken to alternative hospitals, such as Wythenshawe or Manchester Royal Infirmary.
The ambulance service already takes patients with major trauma, stroke and some heart attacks to hospitals outside Trafford, so patients can access the best possible specialist care. Evidence shows this improves outcomes for patients.
Dr Simon Musgrave, senior consultant at Trafford General Hospital, said: "Between 8am and midnight the services will operate as they do now – the only patients who would be transferred elsewhere would be those who require the highest level of care. For these patients the most important issue is getting to a hospital that can give them the specialist care they need.
“At night the ambulance service will be able to transfer patients quickly and safely to the three neighbouring teaching hospitals, which are all within a 10km radius from most parts of Trafford.”
Bob Pearson, medical director at Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital added: “The transfer times from all areas of Trafford are clinically acceptable, and there is no clinical reason to think that any additional journey time will affect the clinical response or the outcomes for patients.”
Any residents who have not had a copy of the consultation document can get in touch with the new health deal team to request one by calling 0161 873 9527 or emailing email@example.com.
You can also respond to the consultation online here.