HEALTH chiefs behind the biggest ever shake-up of hospitals insist no services will be “downgraded”.

The Royal Bolton Hospital is in the running to become one five specialist centres as part of the Healthier Together review, which is due to go consultation next month.

Commissioners from across Greater Manchester were due to approve the consultation documents and plan yesterday.

But GPs sitting on Healthier Together's committee agreed the consultation was not ready to go to the public.

Healthier Together is currently waiting for NHS England to approve the proposals, which will then will be put forward to the public.

A huge print, radio and social media campaign will encourage people to have their say on better health care by filling out a questionnaire.

Members of the public raised concerns about hospitals being downgraded.

Ian Barker, of Stockport NHS Watch, said: "I have seen some people say that some hospitals could be downgraded while others stay the same."

Healthier Together medical director and A&E consultant Dr Chris Brookes said that district general hospitals will be the "jewel in the crown" of the shake-up.

Dr Brookes added: "The term downgrading is not one I recognise. It is something that has been coined by other colleagues that perhaps thought it was downgrading.

"That's not the case at all. This consultation is about quality and improving care for patients."

The committees in common will meet again on July 2 with a view to give the consultation the go-ahead on July 8.