HEALTH bosses have revealed an ambitious plan to 'transform' the NHS in Bolton in the next five years but are battling against consistently falling funding, according to a new report.

Health leaders across the borough have launched their plan to improve care in the borough, with goals ranging from preventing reducing deaths in hospital to making buildings fit for purpose.

Publishing the plans Professor Donna Hall, the chair of the Bolton NHS Trust, and Dr Jackie Bene, the chief executive officer, said: "We have come a long way over the past five years. We are now in the top 25 per cent of trusts for the quality of our patient care, rated among the best for the way we care for our staff and national award winners for our innovative use of technology."

But with a rising population, expected to grow by 16,000 by 2025, demand is increasing on the NHS and the two leaders say they are constantly being 'asked to do more with less'.

They spoke of the challenges: "To ensure we are working for a better Bolton, we need to transform.

"Bolton experiences higher-than-average early deaths from cardiovascular disease and cancer when compared with the rest of England. Life-expectancy of those in more affluent areas is around nine years greater than in deprived communities, and the healthy life expectancy in the most deprived communities

in Bolton is 12 years below the England average. Our population experiences higher-than-average levels of alcohol-related harm, smoking-related deaths, deaths from drug misuse and higher rates of hospitalisation for self-harm. In line with the aspirations set in Bolton’s Locality Plan, it is vital that we work together to close this gap and improve the life experience and outcomes of everyone in our population."

Among the roster of ambitious goals, The Royal Bolton Hospital is aiming to be in the top 10 per cent of hospitals for quality of patient care.

The health bosses have also promised that Bolton's NHS will be financially stable within the next five years.

By 2024, the leaders say they will have come up with a plan for regenerating tired building and putting them to best use. The report said: "We want to make sure that we make the best use of the space that we have, and to use it to make a positive contribution to our local communities."

The plans have been presented to the public at local area forums over the last few weeks. Residents in the Hulton area were sceptical, however, voicing that one of their biggest concerns was the communication between Bolton's health care services and those of other boroughs.

Although the public consultation for the plans ended at the start of the year, residents have been invited to continue to share their thoughts with the NHS, as leaders will continue to develop the five-year plan.