HEALTH chiefs are thrashing out proposals for a radical shake-up of services across Bolton and Greater Manchester.

Hospital bosses joined GPs, consultants and national clinical advisers to debate the Healthier Together — Case For Change, which is a review of health and social care due to go to public consultation in June.

The Healthier Together shake-up, which bosses claim will save lives and money, has been two years in the planning.

Some hospitals are set to become specialist centres and there will be a major overhaul of the way GPs operate.

Health chiefs insist no hospitals or A&Es will close under the plan.

Healthier Together chiefs estimate more than 1,000 lives can be saved in hospitals over five years.

Staff working in healthcare for local authorities such as Bolton Council will work with NHS services to deliver care in the community or at home.

Improved access to GP surgeries has been introduced to six areas of Greater Manchester — including Bury — with 8am to 8pm opening hours and a weekend service. Su Long, chief officer of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, attended the Healthier Together debate.

She said: “It was an important step that leaders from across the NHS in Greater Manchester came together to agree the strong clinical case for change for Healthier Together.”

David Bennett, chief executive of health watchdog Monitor, said if the health system was not radically changed there would be a £30 billion funding gap by 2021.

He added: “My real concern about change is not ‘is it possible?’ but ‘is it possible in the time available?’ “We need turbo-charged change — we can do it, but we have to do it faster. Concentrate on maintaining services — not institutions.”

For more information visit the Healthier Together online at