THE body that is investigating merger plans for the two hospital trusts that serve most Trafford residents wants to hear from patients.

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) are proposing to link up.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which checks plans for hospital mergers, is investigating the move.

It is examining the impact the merger could have on patient choice and the quality of healthcare services provided.

The hospitals that CMFT manages include Altrincham Hospital and Trafford General.

The facilities that UHSM is responsible for include Wythenshawe Hospital, the hospital that many Trafford residents use most frequently.

The CMA has now set out the issues it will look at in its investigation.

It will examine the effect of the merger on patients having reduced choice between different hospital trusts for procedures and operations and maternity services.

It will also look at whether the merger will lead to reduced choice in A&E provision, and specialist and community services.

The CMA said its investigation will "take into consideration relevant developments in the Greater Manchester area - such as the devolution of health and social care and the proposal for a single hospital provider."

It is also inviting views on any benefits that might result from the merger.

Patients and group are invited to give their views in writing by March 30, by email to, or by post to: Project Manager, CMFT/UHSM merger inquiry, Competition and Markets Authority, Victoria House, Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AD.

A decision on the merger plans will be made in the summer.