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Manchester hospitals join forces to improve care for local residents

ManchesterThe three main hospitals which provide services for the City of Manchester have agreed to look at ways they can work together to provide more effective and efficient care for local people.

The three Trusts that run Manchester Royal Infirmary, Wythenshawe Hospital and North Manchester General Hospital have recognised that there is a real need to work together to  drive consistency in the way hospital services are provided across the city, and have agreed to work together on a joint review of hospital care.

The review will be undertaken by Sir Jonathan Michael, who has previously been the Chief Executive of three major hospital Trusts in London, Birmingham and Oxford, and before that worked as a Consultant Physician and Medical Director at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.  Sir Jonathan will provide an independent assessment of the potential benefits of aligning hospital services in Manchester more effectively, and of the best way to manage hospitals to achieve these benefits.

Accepting the role of Independent Review Director, Sir Jonathan said:  "Manchester hosts a wide variety of hospital services, some with national and international reputations, but at the same time the residents of Manchester generally have poor health outcomes compared to the rest of the country.  With three main hospitals, each being run by different Trusts, it is likely that there are different ways of doing things.  I want to bring together the clinical teams from across the city to ensure that best practice is consistently applied, and that we are making the most effective use of key staff with specialist skills.  This way, we can offer consistently high standards of care to patients across the city, no matter which hospital they use."

Barry Clare, Chairman of University Hospital of South Manchester (which runs Wythenshawe Hospital) said: "This review is extremely important for the long term future of hospital services in Manchester, and we are extremely fortunate to have attracted someone with Sir Jonathan's wealth of experience to give us independent expert advice on these matters. The Chairs of the three hospital Trusts will support Sir Jonathan to ensure he has full engagement from our clinical teams, but still remains truly independent."

Steve Mycio, Chairman of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (which runs Manchester Royal Infirmary) said:  "The local CCGs and the City Council have clearly indicated that they want the three hospital Trusts to work together to create a single hospital service for the City of Manchester.  This review will be a major step in that direction and will show how, through closer collaboration, the hospital services in Manchester can be made more effective and efficient."

John Jesky, Chairman of The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (which runs North Manchester General Hospital) welcomed the review:  "In Manchester, we have many excellent clinicians, providing some of the finest care in the world.  We need to organise hospital care so that it is provided to the same consistently high standard across the city.  Getting our clinical teams to work more closely together will be the best way to serve the people of Manchester. We look forward to ensuring that this city work forms an integral part of our wider Trust transformation plans."

The Review will be structured around two phases.  From December 2015 through to March 2016, the Review will develop an assessment of the potential benefits of a fully aligned hospital service model.  This stage will involve extensive engagement with clinical teams from across all three hospitals.  The second phase will continue through to June 2016, and will focus on a detailed appraisal of the most appropriate and effective governance and organisational arrangements to deliver the identified benefits.

Having gathered evidence and opinions from a wide variety of sources, and tested his findings with the Boards of the three Trusts, Sir Jonathan will provide his independent advice through two reports (phase 1 and phase 2) to the Manchester Health and Wellbeing Board.  The Health and Wellbeing Board will then consider the findings and determine the actions that need to be taken, both by the Trusts and by the Manchester Commissioners, to achieve the future vision described by Sir Jonathan.