BOLTON News health correspondent Charlotte Dobson takes a look at why the Royal Bolton should become a “super hospital”

THE gloves are off as hospital chiefs battle it out to lay claim to be the “super hospital”.
David Wakefield, chairman of Bolton’s NHS Foundation Trust, has made no secret that this review will cause friction among neighbouring trusts.

It has been said across NHS boardrooms there will be winners and losers should this shake-up go ahead.

NHS trusts have become more and more like businesses — meaning they have to compete with other trusts to provide services and prove they are financially viable.

Healthier Together chiefs are keeping quiet about which of up to two hospitals out of Bolton, Wigan, Stockport and Wythenshawe are most likely to become specialist centres.

It would make sense geographically for there to be an extra one in the north and another in the south of Greater Manchester.

Mr Wakefield has said himself that Wigan is Bolton’s main rival in terms of competing for the maternity specialism.

So why should people in Bolton care about this consultation?

Healthier Together is billing this review as patients’ chance to have their say on where they want to see specialist centres placed across Greater Manchester.

No doubt, everyone would like to get specialist treatment for every serious condition on their doorstep but the NHS says that is not possible with ever-dwindling resources and our growing, and ageing, population.

What people should know is that specialist centre status in Bolton could mean a better A&E department and a bigger maternity unit — a priority for many families.

Whatever your opinion about the Royal Bolton Hospital, everyone should make sure they have their say on these massive NHS changes.