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 nearest of which is Wigan. The changes will be phased in between now and October.
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:
•● Appropriate staff on- hand when a major trauma patient arrived.
• Paediatric teams available in the case of a major trauma, particularly for two-year-olds.
• 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 to support ambulance crews throughout the implementation phase.”
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 Wigan.