Fears over unit's 'black' status

Messenger Newspapers: Fears over unit's 'black' status Fears over unit's 'black' status

A TRAFFORD councillor is calling for an emergency meeting of the borough’s health scrutiny committee after raising concerns about increased pressures at Wythenshawe Hospital’s A&E department.

Cllr Jo Harding claimed the unit at Wythenshawe has been struggling to cope with the increased number of patients as a result of the downgrading of the casualty facility at Trafford General Hospital.

She said the unit was put on ‘black’ status - which means the demand for services outstripped supply.

But a spokesman for University Hospitals South Manchester (UHSM), which runs Wythenshawe said the unit’s ‘black’ status has been lifted.

“Our average A&E waiting time is now back in line with the level we would expect at this time of year. We temporarily reported ‘black status’ last week, attributed to the complexity of patients’ medical needs presenting at A&E; coupled with a high volume of patients arriving in a short period of time. It is not unusual for hospital A&E departments to report an increase in numbers and complexity of patients during the winter period.”

Cllr Harding, a leading figure in the Save Trafford General campaign, said: “All of the things we predicted in the campaign, sadly, are coming to fruition. It just paints an incredibly worrying picture. It’s incredibly alarming that within the space of two weeks of those changes taking place at Trafford we’re hearing frightening thoughts from Wythenshawe about people waiting longer, people queueing and the number of attendances increasing.”

She also expressed concern over the increased distance Trafford people have to travel to attend Wythenshawe and claimed there had been a breakdown in communication between patients and health chiefs who run the new Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at Trafford General.

A spokesperson from Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group, the body responsible for the UCC, said an extensive promotional campaign had taken place.

“As part of the changes undertaken at Trafford General Hospital, extensive promotion and stakeholder involvement has taken place to ensure that patients, carers, public, staff and wider health professionals are aware of the changes.

“Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group understands how vitally important accurate communication is and will continue to work with all stakeholders, whether these are public, professional or voluntary groups to ensure the implementation of the changes at Trafford General Hospital are a success and well understood by the public.”

* The Urgent Care Centre is open every day from 8am to midnight and an information leaflet is available NHS Trafford Commissioning Group on 0161 873 9527 or via email at feedback@trafford.nhs.uk.

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