The National Clinical Advisory Team (experts working independently from the Department of Health), supports the proposal under the new health deal for Trafford public consultation, to make changes to the NHS services in the borough.
The review gives significant clinical reassurance that the plans developed to reconfigure healthcare services across Trafford, including services at Trafford General Hospital, are appropriate and clinically sound.
Following a visit to Trafford and a tour of the Trafford General Hospital site, the National Clinical Advisory Team met with staff, patients, local residents, local authority representatives, and other key clinical groups, to understand the details of the proposal for change, both to the hospital and across the Trafford community.
Their report stated, “We support the clinical case for change made here. We think the project team is correct to identify that there are clinical, sustainability and future safety problems at Trafford General Hospital if it goes on practicing the way it does.”
The report identified that “although presently there is no concern about the clinical safety of services provided at Trafford General, and outcomes from care appear to be good, there is a pressing clinical case to consider the medium and long term future of the service from the point of view of sustainability and future clinical safety.”
Dr George Kissen, medical director at NHS Trafford welcomed the report and said, “It is really positive that the national clinical experts recognised the problems we are facing here in Trafford.”
“Historically there has been an inappropriate, disproportionate level of investment in hospital facilities, to the disadvantage of community and primary care services.”
He added “Whilst there has been a lot of commitment towards integrating healthcare, so far, there has been difficulty in implementing a robust integrated care model across Trafford, due to a lack of available resources to invest in community and primary care. If we are going to be able to manage the emerging risks in hospital based care and invest in new types of care, we have to make changes.”
The National Clinical Advisory team acknowledged that there had been a good deal of patient and clinical engagement prior to the launch of the consultation. The team also concluded that even without considering affordability issues, there are sufficient clinical reasons and risks to reconfigure the healthcare services currently provided at Trafford General. In summary, the team of experts recommended that the proposal to consult the public be strongly supported.
Prior to the National Clinical Advisory Team visit, an Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and Department of Health Gateway visit to Trafford also took place in January 2012. Both reviews provided assurance to NHS North West that the plans for the new health deal for Trafford project were thorough and appropriate.
Leila Williams, director of service transformation at NHS Greater Manchester said, “There is growing clinical acknowledgement and backing for the proposal to reconfigure health services across Trafford. In particular, those based at Trafford General Hospital, to ensure that local patients continue to receive the best local healthcare possible.”