A&E could be treating patients from as far as Bolton

Ambulances outside Wigan Infirmary Accident & Emergency department

Ambulances outside Wigan Infirmary Accident & Emergency department

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WIGAN Infirmary could see its Accident and Emergency unit pushed to the limit with admissions from Bolton.

A damning report of services at the Royal Bolton Hospital (RBH) could see trauma patients being taken to the Royal Albert Infirmary (RAEI) instead.

Health chiefs who visited the RBH deemed that anyone suffering from a serious head injury, severe burns, a gunshot or stab wound, spinal injuries or multiple serious life-changing injuries will not be taken there for assessment before they are sent to a hospital with specialist facilities for treatment.

These “major trauma” patients will instead have to go to one of six accredited hospitals outside Bolton before they are seen by a doctor. The changes will be phased in between now and October - with the nearest of these six accredited hospitals being which is Wigan.

Health chiefs visited the Royal Bolton to review its facilities after hospital bosses applied to become an accredited trauma unit.

The panel of experts from NHS Manchester said the hospital had failed to provide enough evidence to demonstrate that it had:

l Appropriate staff on- hand when a major trauma patient arrived.

l Paediatric teams available in the case of a major trauma, particularly for two-year-olds.

l A CT radiographer available 24 hours a day

Ambulance crews have been given extra training to help them decide where to take patients.

Paramedics will have to make a judgement call about whether to take the injured person to accident and emergency at Bolton or to one of the major trauma units.

A North West Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Senior clinicians will also be available in the emergency control centre.”

The three hospitals successful in bidding to become major trauma centres are Salford Royal, Manchester Central and Manchester South Foundation Trusts, while the major trauma units will be at the Royal Oldham Hospital, Stockport Foundation Trust, and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust. Bolton, Tameside Foundation Trust and North Manchester General failed to become major trauma units.