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Trafford General Hospital campaigners to hold a march and rally from Golden Hill Park, Urmston at 11am on July 7
9:00am Thursday 5th July 2012 in News
HUNDREDS of people are expected to attend a rally and march being held by the Save Trafford General group in Urmston on Saturday.
The group’s chairman, Matthew Finnegan, said a mass turnout will leave health chiefs in no doubt about the strength of feeling of residents about any service cuts to Trafford General - the birthplace of the NHS.
The rally is being held 64 years after Nye Bevan launched the NHS at the hospital and before a public consultation gets underway into proposals for major changes there.
Health bosses insist changes need to be made to secure the hospital’s future. A consultation into these changes is due to begin before the end of July and the proposals will be released as soon as that begins.
But - as Messenger has reported in recent months - health chiefs are proposing to downgrade Trafford General’s accident and emergency (A & E) department into an urgent care centre, open from 8am to midnight.
Critical care, and the paediatric observation and assessment unit would be closed and acute surgery would no longer be carried out at the hospital.
These changes could be in place by April next year.
Further changes ‘within a number of years’ would see the urgent care unit become a minor illness and injury unit.
Mr Finnegan said: “We want this rally to be the biggest demonstration Trafford has ever seen. We are hoping there will be 500 to 600 people there.
”This a chance for people to show they want to keep their A & E unit, they want their local hospital to care for children, and to provide intensive care and acute surgery.
“This is the beginning of the campaign.”
More than 6,000 people have signed a protest petition against the closure of services at Trafford General.
A spokesperson for NHS Trafford, said: "The NHS in Trafford and local clinicians are working together to ensure that services can continue to be provided at Trafford General Hospital.
“It is one of the smallest hospitals in the country, runs the second smallest accident and emergency department in the country, and the relatively low numbers of patients using the hospital means the services are not clinically sustainable and could become unsafe in the future. It also costs the local health economy £19 million more a year than is available, and these things combined mean that the future of the hospital is under threat if changes aren’t made.
“A proposal will be going out to public consultation that has been put together to solve these issues. Everyone will have the chance to have their say before any final decisions are made.”
*The Save Trafford General rally and march will begin at Golden Hill Park, Urmston. People should assemble at 11am on Saturday (July 7). They will begin the march to Trafford General at 12 noon, and finish back at Golden Hill Park for a short rally.