Poynton: Wednesday 2nd December 2015. 12pm – 2pm
Council Chamber, Poynton Civic Centre
Off Park Lane, Poynton, SK12 1RB
1. Healthier Together (HT) claims 300 lives can be saved per annum yet the Medical Director of NHS England believes that it is reckless to calculate avoidable deaths by HT method. So how many lives are really likely to save?
Healthier Together claim that their decision will save 300 lives every year. This would be acheived if ALL the hospitals in Greater Manchester acheived the same results as the best hospital in UK. However, they wish to mislead the public. Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of NHS England believes the way the figures are calculated are “clinically meaningless” and it is “academically reckless” to use such statistical measures to quantify actual numbers of avoidable deaths.
A study published in the British Medical Journal reported that the number of avoidable deaths according to Hospital Standardised Mortality Rates, the data source used by Healthier Together, was only 3%.
2. We know that emergency heart treatment saves lives AFTER heart attacks following abdominal surgery. So which hospitals in Greater Manchester could look after a patient with a sudden heart problem after abdominal surgery? [Follow-up question: So why was Stepping Hill Hospital chosen over Wythenshawe Hospital?]
Evidence points to better outcomes when heart complications are managed effectively after abdominal surgery. Currently only Wythenshawe Hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary provide emergency heart stents and heart surgery. Under Healthier Together proposals, both these hospitals will be linked together. Patients requiring abdominal surgery from Stockport, Tameside and High Peaks will be initially taken to Stepping Hill Hospital and require further transfer to Wythenshawe hospital or Manchester Royal Infirmary for heart treatments if they develop a heart problem around time of surgery. Does a few minutes more in travel times for a small group of patients in high peaks mean that a few patients requiring abdominal surgery should not have access to high quality care with all supporting services on-site (ie the extensive supporting services currently available at Wythenshawe Hospital)?
3. Which of the hospitals in Greater Manchester currently have the required specialities to manage bleeding from the gut?
Wythenshawe hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary both have the 3 main services required to manage major gut bleeding: vascular radiology, gastroenterologists and the appropriate gut surgeons. These services, in particular vascular radiology, can only be developed with major investment and are not planned within Healthier Together proposals. So why would Healthier together propose that patients from Stockport, Tameside and High Peaks should be taken to a hospital where some of these services are NOT currently available and would cost substantial money to develop. Yet Wythenshawe hospital already provides these high quality services and already treats patients from Stockport, Tameside and High Peaks, some of whom were transfered to Wythenshawe Hospital from Stepping Hill Hospital.
4. If the HT decision was implemented, which single service would an informed member of the committee in common take their loved ones IF they had a choice: Stockport/ Tameside or Central Manchester/ South Manchester. Is that fair or a postcode lottery?
Taking an example used by Healthier Together with minor, yet important variation:
If Lynda lived in High Peaks, had heart problems and required abdominal surgery, many informed surgeons would choose to take their mother to a hospital set up for abdominal surgery and have on-site heart treatments IF they had a choice. Stepping Hill Hospital does not carry out emergency heart stents or heart surgery.
5. Why did HT choose 45mins as the cut off for travel time. What evidence do they have to say 50 or 55 mins would be unsafe? Was the A6 relief road considered? And if not then why not?