City of Manchester Single Hospital Service Review

This week’s announcement surrounding the publication of the first stage report into hospital services in Manchester has focussed on one of Sir Jonathon Michael’s “organisational models”. This model proposes that North Manchester General Hospital is removed from the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, and form part of a new Manchester NHS Trust together with Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust.

This news has come as no surprise to anyone not in hibernation for the last few years. The corridors, wards, and departments of the trust have been alive with talk that mirror this proposal, long before George Osborne set up shop in Manchester Town Hall to announce his devolution plans.

UNISON were in attendance at the last Manchester Health & Wellbeing Board in April, where it was made quite clear that future delivery of health and social care in Manchester will be subject to a significantly reduced budget. Savings are therefore the driving force behind whatever proposals the board eventually accept.

Services will remain at Royal Oldham, Fairfield & Rochdale. The Michael’s Report terms of reference only relate to Manchester. Obviously should North Manchester leave Pennine Hospitals Trust this will have an impact, but to date no options have been tabled regarding how Pennine will be managed.

Already highlighted in Sir Jonathon’s feedback to the board are saving that can be achieved through “back office” functions, shared staffing over the new trust hospital sites, shared IT, and shared diagnostic services. Where duplication/ triplication of services exist, these will be subject to rationalising. In others words, jobs and services are likely to be at risk.

UNISON Pennine Acute Health branch will continue to follow developments, and plan to hold meetings with our members in the near future. Officially we are still very much at report stage of the independent review, with the Manchester Health & Wellbeing Board yet to make their decisions. However, from what we know already, whatever model they do eventually agree, cuts to services and jobs will form the basis of the changes that are implemented. UNISON remains of the opinion that our public services, in this case our health service, is no place for profit driven private contractors. We will be keeping a very close eye on developments and will remain in open dialogue with our members.

Date Online: 02/06/2016

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