Time extended to have a say on health plans

Lisa Nandy MP at the Wigan Observer public debate at Wigan Town Hall over the Healthier Together NHS consultation

Lisa Nandy MP at the Wigan Observer public debate at Wigan Town Hall over the Healthier Together NHS consultation

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Have your say

WIGAN MP Lisa Nandy has urged residents to take advantage of the chance to influence the proposed revamp of NHS services.

The deadline for returning Healthier Together (HT) consultation forms has been extended to October 24.

Dubbed the biggest ever shake-up of the NHS, HT would see specialist services centralised to a handful of “super-hospitals”.

Wigan Infirmary is vying alongside Bolton, Wythenshawe and Stepping Hill hospitals for that status.

Ms Nandy criticised the way the consultation had been run at last week’s borough HT forum but welcomed the extension.

Wigan residents have already been identified as having a higher proportion of responses than other areas.

She told the Evening Post: “I’m pleased the HT team has decided to give people more time to comment.

“Consulting over the summer may be the reason why the response rates have been so low. I urge Wiganers to use this time to voice their views.

“If you value local health services, now is the time to say.”

Senior staff at Wigan’s hospitals have warned there could be a real risk to services if they receive general hospital status.

Leila Williams, NHS director of service transformation, said: “No decisions have yet been made and we will listen.

“As we are running consultation events right up until September 30, it seems right that we give as many people as possible the opportunity to give us their views.”

At Wigan’s forum last week, HT bosses were slated for spending £1.4m agency fees to produce the consultation material.

And residents accused the forms of asking “leading questions.”

Dr Chris Brookes, who represented the HT team, said the changes are a chance to improve widespread standards of care across the region.

For details on the consultation visit https://healthiertogethergm.nhs.uk/