The following letter was sent to the Secretary of state on the 3rd September 2015 by the Medical Staff Committee of Wythenshawe Hospital:
Dear Secretary of State,
The Medical Staff Committee (MSC) of the University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) write to inform you that we have served a Letter Before Action (LBA) on Ian Williamson, the Senior Responsible Officer of Healthier Together, in accordance with Pre-Action Protocol for Judicial Review of the decision, taken on July 15th 2015, not to choose UHSM as the fourth specialist hospital for Greater Manchester.
After over three years of public consultation, and enormous expenditure, a decision has been arrived at entirely on the basis of travel and access times which itself failed to take into account the imminent A6 relief road, the unique Helipad at USHM, and proximity to the airport which proved so decisive a factor in the saving of many lives after the Manchester air-disaster three decades ago. Other key criteria such as the quality and safety of existing services, the potential adverse effect on co-dependencies at a major teaching hospital, Value for Money, and the outcome of the public consultation process, were all disregarded.
We believe that the decision reached is unlawful, unreasonable and illogical; it puts the integrity of UHSM, an integrated Acute Trust with the largest critical mass of secondary and tertiary specialties in Greater Manchester, at risk, threatening to render it non-viable, with a consequently damaging effect on healthcare for the people of South Manchester and the wider region. We believe that the interests of DevoManc would be better served, with respect to care-quality, clinical outcomes and value for money, by building further on what we already offer, and which cannot be rapidly or cost-effectively re-provided elsewhere.
We ask that the decision be quashed and a lawful decision taken based on appropriate assessment of all valid criteria, to prevent our hospital being downgraded and to arrive at a just and logical solution which provides optimal healthcare for the people of Greater Manchester. We have co-operated fully with the Healthier Together process during the last three years, but have found its recent communications, particularly regarding the future provision of acute and major surgery, to be incoherent and inconsistent.
The MSC recognise that change is needed and are committed to DevoManc, but we cannot stand by and watch an unlawful process unfold that will lead to patient harm and a waste of public money.
Medical Staff Committee