“GET behind the Royal Bolton to make us super!”

The boss of the hospital is calling on people to support its bid to become one of five specialist centres in Greater Manchester as part of the Healthier Together plans.

And today The Bolton News is launching the Best of Health for Bolton campaign to urge people to rally behind the Royal Bolton in its fight to become a “super-hospital”.

The changes are part one of the biggest shake-up of NHS Services Greater Manchester has ever seen.

Bosses at the Royal Bolton are proposing to invest heavily in maternity, children and obstetrics services as well as the A&E department.

The Bolton NHS Foundation Trust — which runs the hospital and community services — now has to convince the public of why the Royal Bolton is the best for the job.

David Wakefield, chairman of the NHS Foundation Trust, said: “There has been a quiet revolution going on behind the scenes at our trust for some time. It is time it became a noisy revolution.

“I believe this trust has a tremendous future and we should be a super-hospital.”

The public will be encouraged to decide where they want the specialist centres to be based and will be asked to consider the following factors:

- Access to the hospital, such as public transport

- Current patient experiences of that hospital

- The financial position of the hospital

- The capacity and performance of that hospital

Mr Wakefield said he believes Bolton fulfils all of the criteria and patients only need to look at the hospital’s “dramatically improved” performance in the past year to be convinced.

Dr Jackie Bene’s leadership through the turbulence of 2012 to 2013 is also a unique selling point, according to the chairman.

Mr Wakefield said: “Our performance is as good, if not better, than our neighbours. The A&E performance is the shining example where we have completely turned things round.

“There’s no doubt this trust has had turbulent times. We were put into breach with Monitor because of our finances and the failed A&E targets.

“We managed to break even last year and are looking to be in surplus this year. We have now been approved by Monitor as a sustainable trust.

“Our A&E performance has dramatically improved to the point where we are the second best in the North West and in the top 10 in the country.

“That is astounding when you look at what the we have come back from. Our harm free indicators have also come down, such as falls and pressure ulcers. The rate of C Difficile infection has improved by 50 per cent. It’s astonishing.

“If I were looking to some of our neighbours, they are not able to match the performance of this trust in the past year.”

He also says the Royal Bolton’s chief executive is key in making the hospital the best choice.

Mr Wakefield added: “We also have another unique selling point — we have a practising consultant as our chief executive. Dr Jackie Bene has years of experience and what she brings to the board is a real passion for patients.

“The hospital and community services have dramatically improved because of her dedication and leadership. She has the ability to get all of the clinicians behind her, which is exactly what a specialist centre would need.”

Maternity and children’s services already cover a large part of Greater Manchester — delivering more than 6,000 babies a year from across Bolton, Bury and Salford.

Mr Wakefield says the Royal Bolton has the capacity to take on mums and babies from Wigan to become an even bigger centre for women, children and obstetrics.

The Bolton trust is also proposing to extend the A&E department if it is granted super status.

He added: “We have ambitious plans for the trust and I am confident we have a good stake in the Healthier Together plans.

“I would urge the people in Bolton to make their voice heard during this consultation — they must make their feelings known.”