STRUCTURE: Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust has vowed to fight a recommendation to reject its bid to become a high volume centre for arterial surgery, as part of a regional reorganisation of vascular services.

The Cheshire and Merseyside Vascular Review Project Board, which was set up last year, indicated in July it would not back the FT’s joint bid with St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust to form a Mid Mersey Vascular Network.

In an update statement, the board said “clinical advisors and commissioners were unanimous in their view that the Mid Mersey application should not be approved” because “specialist staffing numbers and activity levels in the carotid endarterectomy fell below the minimum standard required for an arterial centre”.

The board favours just two arterial centres in the region – one comprising Aintree University Hospitals Foundation Trust and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust, and one formed by Countess of Chester Hospital Foundation Trust and Wirral University Teaching Hospitals Trust.

But in a statement, Warrington and Halton chief executive Mel Pickup said: “Our view is that there should be three centres across the region.”

She added: “National audits show that our stroke prevention surgery results and emergency outcomes for ruptured aortic aneurysm are better than the national average. We are continuing to work to show that these vascular services need to be retained here in Warrington on behalf of the community.”

A final decision is expected from the review board during the next few months.