Past Changes

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From 6th October 2014, the Tertiary Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) surgical service at North Manchester General Hospital by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust moved to and merged with the service provided at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) by Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT). This created a single Tertiary specialist surgical site for Greater Manchester and Cheshire patients.

All patients still have the benefit of the diagnostic and treatment facilities, including out-patient clinics at their local Pennine Acute NHS Hospital. Some patients, who require Tertiary HPB surgery expertise are now being referred onwards by Pennine Surgery or Gastroenterology to the Tertiary HPB Surgery service at CMFT.

Inpatient Gynaecology Services

In order to provide improved quality of care to our patients who require an overnight stay following an inpatient procedure, from 31st March 2014, all of our inpatient gynaecological services will be undertaken at our new multi-million pound purpose-built Women and Children’s Development at our site at The Royal Oldham Hospital, which opened last year.

The relocation and changes to inpatient services from North Manchester to Oldham will not compromise care, but will enhance the patient experience and ensure patients receive treatment in a timely manner by our dedicated staff. We expect patients will continue to see the same consultant for their treatment, apart from where there are exceptional circumstances.

Dementia medical unit at Rochdale Infirmary

A pioneering new service that will support hospital patients with dementia from Rochdale borough opened in April 2014 following around £1 million of investment by the local NHS.

The new Oasis Unit at Rochdale Infirmary will offer acute medical patients with dementia and confusion who present or who are referred to the Infirmary with a safe and suitable purpose-built environment to support recovery and access to nursing and mental health staff.

The five bed unit is believed to be the first of its kind in a hospital setting in England. In addition to the separate rooms, the unit boasts its own relaxing lounge area, kitchen and dining area.

The service will be provided by a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals from The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.


The Trust is currently expanding the Accident and Emergency departments at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury and at The Royal Oldham Hospital. As part of our plans to improve facilities at our A&E departments, we are investing millions of pounds in extensive expansion and development at both sites. By the end of Summer 2014 both sites will have benefited from increased space and capacity to help improve patient flow, waiting times and overall patient experience.

The £3.75m expansion at The Royal Oldham will include the development of ten treatment cubicles, a psychiatric liaison room, six adult resus bays and a separate children’s waiting and treatment area and a shared plaster room. At Fairfield, the £2.25m investment will see the development of separate dedicated A&E facilities for children, and the expansion of the department to separate ‘minor’ and ‘major’ cases.

Between 2007 and 2012

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust was part of two regional NHS improvement programmes called Making It Better and Healthy Futures.

These two programmes, both formally approved in 2007 by the then Secretary of State for Health, set out to transform the way health services in the North East of Greater Manchester are provided.

Following a period of consultation with staff and the public, it was decided that, to ensure health services remain modern, safe and sustainable, the resources, skills and expertise of doctors and nursing staff would be better placed by concentrating on fewer hospital sites while still maintaining local access, urgent care, outpatient and day case services in local hospitals. In practical terms, this has meant the Trust carrying out a series of ward moves, service developments, investing in more staff and the complex transfer of existing services between hospitals.

Healthy Futures was a programme of change designed to transform the way some adult healthcare services are accessed and provided, both primary and secondary care, affecting 800,000 people in Bury, Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton, North Manchester and Oldham. Two major, emergency receiving hospitals were created at The Royal Oldham and North Manchester General Hospitals, with high quality emergency and elective services available at Fairfield General Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary.

Making it Better involved significant investment and changes to NHS services for pregnant women, newborn babies and children and young people across Greater Manchester. Improvements in community services to bring routine care closer to home was accompanied by the development of new, better staffed maternity, neonatal and children's units at North Manchester General and The Royal Oldham Hospitals. Overnight maternity care ceased at Fairfield General Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary, but antenal clinics remained on all hospital sites.

Both reconfiguration programmes were led by clincians who agreed that services needed to change. After a substantial pre-consultation period, which included the publication of documents outlining the vision of the clinical staff involved, the consultation process concluded in May 2006.

Hundreds of doctors, nurses and other clinical staff gave their views as part of these consultations, and dozens of public meetings were held across the area. Thousands of people sent their views to the consultation teams.
 Decisions in both consultations were made by special committees of the combined, local NHS primary care trusts (PCTs), who decided which services would be best provided at which hospitals.

Both decisions were referred to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, which undertook a review of the cases for change and published reports into both consultations on Friday, 24 August 2007. Both reports endorsed the preferred options - visit the IRP website at ( for copies of the reports. The Secretary of State for Health also endorsed the IRP recommendations and concluded that each programme of change should go ahead.

The 'Healthy Futures' and 'Making it Better' programmes were reviewed again in 2010, with each programme being called on to meet four tests that all NHS reconfigurations must meet, as specified by the Department of Health. A further, independent review was carried out by the National Clinical Advisory Team (NCAT) - a national independent team of clinicians - as part of this process. Their reports were made public and both programmes were again approved by the North West Strategic Health Authority, NHS North West in early 2011.