STRUCTURE: The board overseeing the planned reconfiguration of health services in Trafford has approved proposals to stop emergency surgery at Trafford General Hospital, and to replace its emergency department with an urgent care centre.

A statement released by NHS Trafford yesterday afternoon confirmed that the Trafford Strategic Programme Board had backed the proposals, subject to various conditions.

The plan will now go to the Trafford and Manchester Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee for its consideration and response, prior to a final decision by NHS Greater Manchester on 24 January 2013.

NHS Greater Manchester service transformation director Leila Williams said: “There are pressing clinical and financial issues to address at Trafford General Hospital, which is why the doctors and nurses who work there are urging for change to happen now. 

“However, despite the recommendation from the [the strategic board], this is an ongoing process and a final decision will not be made until the NHS Greater Manchester board meeting takes place in January.”

The statement said that the model approved by the programme board would involve replacing Trafford’s accident and emergency department to an urgent care centre open from 8am to midnight, stopping all emergency surgery and intensive care treatment on the site, and closing the paediatric observation and assessment unit.

It would also involve increasing the range of outpatient appointments and day case surgery available at Trafford, and creating an orthopaedic centre of excellence at the site.

Trafford has been managed by Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust since April 2011, when the FT acquired the financially troubled NHS trust that used to run the site.

The documents considered by the strategic programme board can be found here.