TWO of the biggest NHS Greater Manchester Trusts in the country, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (PAT) and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, have come together to create one of the largest NHS organisations in Greater Manchester and the North West.

The new Northern Care Alliance NHS Group will have a £1.3 billion budget and will serve over 1 million people, as five local hospitals will come together to provide 2,000 beds, specialist and acute services, and community services.

Councillor Robert Sharpe, executive support member for Social Care and Mental Health, largely welcomed the move saying: “I believe, given the strength of the leadership team at Salford Royal Foundation Trust, that the performance of the other trusts will be improved to the benefit of residents/patients in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale, and North Manchester because of the sharing of good practice from Salford.”

But did express some doubts by saying: “I am a little concerned that Salford Royal will lose some good staff to work in the other trusts to bring them up to the desired standard to the detriment of Salford residents and patients, but given the strength of the leadership team this should be a minimal risk.

But ultimately we will have to wait and see if the decisions have a positive or negative effect on patients across the 5 hospitals (SRFT and Pennine Acute Trust) in the future.”

Cllr Sharpe went on to say that Sir David Dalton’s proven track record will be a source of confidence in the success of the organisation and looks to be successful ‘in principle’.

Salford Royal Hospital has been led by  Sir David Dalton, Group Chief Executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group since 2001 and in 2015 the hospital received an ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission.

Sir Dalton will now take charge of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, as he took over Pennine Acute Hospitals in 2016, and he said this about the new Northern Care Alliance NHS Group: ““Together as a new Alliance, and working closely with our partners, we will use this scale to deliver better services that are safe, reliable and high quality, leading to improved outcomes for our patients and other benefits. Our Mission Statement that binds us all together is: ‘Saving lives, Improving lives’.  We will deliver highly reliable care and services, at scale, which are trusted, connected and pioneering.

“With our local commissioners we are identifying options for high quality, sustainable service portfolios for each hospital site.  We are designing a single ‘shared hospital service’ across Bury, Rochdale and Oldham – associated with Salford Royal and/or where appropriate, with other partner organisations.”

The new NHS group will have over 17,500 members of staff, 5,000 nurses and midwifery staff, 1,400 doctors, 1,000 community and district nursing staff, 650 A&E and Urgent Care Centre staff, and 1,200 Allied Health professionals inducing therapists and diagnostic technicians.

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