HEALTH chiefs have confirmed that Wythenshawe Hospital will retain its existing cystic fibrosis unit in the wake of a major healthcare shakeup across Manchester.

Wythenshawe last week missed out to Stockport Stepping Hill in becoming Greater Manchester’s fourth ‘super hospital’ site under the first steps towards a devolved NHS.

Critics have warned that the ‘Healthier Together’ initiative has effectively seen Wythenshawe downgraded, as those hospitals without ‘super status’ will lose surgery facilities accommodating people who need lifesaving abdominal surgery.

A spokesperson for University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, said; “UHSM is a major University Teaching Hospital providing many specialist services for patients across Greater Manchester and beyond, including cystic fibrosis.

“There will be no changes to the cystic fibrosis service at Wythenshawe Hospital as under Healthier Together’s plans all hospitals will keep their existing specialist services.

“The cystic fibrosis service is unique in Greater Manchester. The centre is one of the largest and longest established adult cystic fibrosis centres in the UK, with an international reputation for excellence and innovation, providing outstanding care for patients across the North West.”

Dr Chris Brookes, medical director for Healthier Together, added: “Under the Healthier Together changes, all hospitals will keep their existing specialisms and will continue to provide care to their local populations as they do now.

“This includes the cystic fibrosis services provided at Wythenshawe Hospital. The Healthier Together changes apply to emergency abdominal surgery for patients with life threatening conditions affecting their stomach.”

Wythenshawe became the acute care centre for Trafford residents following the loss of A&E and intensive care units.