High Peak councillors welcome Stepping Hill ‘specialist’ hospital ruling

Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport
Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport

High Peak Borough Council has welcomed a decision that will see Stepping Hill retain its status as a specialist hospital.

Following a reorganisation of hospital services in Greater Manchester, last July the Stockport hospital was named one of four centres sharing services to improve emergency abdominal surgery standards and patient outcomes.

Doctors from Wythenshawe Hospital — which will lose its specialist services — challenged the decision-making process that led to the inclusion of Stepping Hill, leading to a High Court judicial review last month.

The borough council, together with Derbyshire County Council and North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, presented evidence to the judge, who found insufficient grounds for any challenge.

High Peak council leader Tony Ashton said: “The decision to back the reorganisation is one that the council very much welcomes because it is in the best interests of High Peak residents.

“We lobbied for this decision during the original consultation and were pleased to be able to represent local voices, and highlight again the reasons that the original decision was the correct one for service provision both in our own area and in Manchester.”

Although acknowledged to be an excellent hospital, it was thought that Wythenshawe’s location would have made it impossible to ensure people from High Peak could receive treatment within the time frame needed to give them a good chance of survival.

Visitors, especially those reliant upon public transport, would also have been faced with long and difficult journeys to visit their loved ones.

Concerns were also raised that emergency vehicles from East Midlands Ambulance Service would be ‘lost’ to the system for long periods of time while taking patients to a distant hospital – putting other ill people at risk.

Cllr Ashton added: “The people of High Peak can now be assured that the healthcare they deserve, and to which they should be entitled to, has been safeguarded.”

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