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MPs Kate Green and Paul Goggins take part in a debate on impact of New Health Deal for Trafford
TWO Trafford MPs demanded guarantees about the future of health services in the borough in a specially arranged debate in Parliament on Tuesday.
Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston, and Paul Goggins, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, took part in the debate in Westminster Hall three days after the two MPs joined protesters who took part in a march and rally, called over fears that Trafford General's A and E and intensive care units are to be downgraded.
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.
Intensive 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.
Ms Green said during the Parliamentary debate that she understood and welcomed the ‘integrated care approach’ but said this could not be delivered without substantial investment in primary and secondary care.
She called for an assurance that changes proposed for Trafford would not be implemented “unless the necessary community provision ...has been put in place.”
She added: “If changes go ahead we need to have guarantees they will enhance, not diminish, the standards of healthcare in Trafford.”
Mr Goggins said changes to Trafford’s A & E unit would impact on Wythenshawe Hospital, leading to an estimated 7,600 extra Trafford patients using Wythenshawe A & E.
He called for an £11.5m investment to upgrade Wythenshawe A & E to meet this demand. The department had been designed to cater for 70,000 patients a year, but it already treated 88,000 and the changes in Trafford would increase this to more than 95,000.
“We are looking for a guarantee that the necessary funds will be made available for the expansion of facilities in the hospital.”
Health minister Simon Burns said it was for local commissioners to meet the needs of local people.
He said any savings would be reinvested in frontline services.
He said integrated care had to be put in place ‘so there is a seamless provision of care.” It was a challenge to the NHS to achieve this.
He said he could not give an assurance that £11.5 m would be invested in Wythenshawe’s A & e department because “these are local decisions free from ministerial interference.”