ONE of Bolton’s leading doctors is calling on residents to get behind their hospital - just like they would their favoutrite football side.

Dr Kevin Jones is backing the Royal Bolton’s bid to become a “super hospital” in one of the biggest shake-ups of the NHS in 80 years.

Healthier Together’s radical proposals could see the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust become one five specialist centres in Greater Manchester.

Dr Jones, a consultant in acute medicine, says he believes the Royal Bolton and its medical staff are up to the task.

He said: “The Royal Bolton Hospital has got more chance of becoming a super hospital than Bolton Wanderers have of getting out of the Championship.

“So we would like the people of Bolton to support us like they do their local football club.”

Dr Jones — who is also known for his charity stand-up shows — says a change in the way hospitals work makes clinical and financial sense.

The proposals, which will see either four or five “super hospitals” created, could save up to 1,500 lives across Greater Manchester a year, according to health bosses.

Healthier Together plans to combine medical teams at all of Greater Manchester’s hospitals.

By pooling consultants across the region, Healthier Together say specialist hospitals will be carry out emergency and high-risk surgery for patients seven days a week.

Dr Jones said: “This can work because we have got so many hospitals close together. At the moment, we have too many trusts trying to do the same thing.

“We should share our consultants and the work we do for two reasons.

“Number one, people who do work more often — like specialist surgery — get better results.

“Number two, it makes financial sense. There is no doubt about that.

“Not only that, I really believe the Royal Bolton should be a specialist hospital.

“We have a good track record in regional specialisation with Making It Better and we are one of the best performing trusts in the country in terms of A&E.

“And it’s not just for people of Bolton but for people across Greater Manchester.

“Clinicians have been involved with this from the start and it is definitely one of the most far ranging and innovative changes we have seen.”

Oldham, Salford or Manchester Royal Infirmary have already been earmarked to be “super hospitals”.

The consultation will decide whether one or two more “super hospitals” are created, and where they will be.

The options are Bolton, Wythenshawe, the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan and Stepping Hill in Stockport.

To complete the consultation questio-nnaire, visit healthier or call 0800 8886789.