STRUCTURE: Residents and organisations in Greater Manchester have been given more time to respond to a consultation on reorganising acute services across the region.

The Healthier Together consultation, launched in July, aims to concentrate emergency and high risk general surgery currently delivered at 10 hospitals onto four or five sites.

The consultation process ended on 30 September but Healthier Together have said it will continue to accept submissions until 24 October.

Leila Williams, director of service transformation for NHS Commissioners in Greater Manchester, said the responses were being accepted because consultation events and activities had run right up to the end of September.

“It seems right that we give as many people as possible the opportunity to give us their views,” she said.

“No decisions have yet been made and we will listen to what people say to us.”

In a parliamentary debate on the consultation in July, Kate Green, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston, criticised the decision to run the process over the summer holidays.

Once the consultation is closed, responses will be analysed and evaluated, and a report produced. This will be considered by the committees in common, the decision making body behind the Healthier Together programme - made up of Greater Manchester’s 12 clinical commissioning groups.

The committees in common will determine the final criteria to be used to decide how to reorganise services into “general” and “specialist” hospitals.

It is not yet clear what the timescales for the next steps of the process will be.