Agenda item

Review of impact of non-arterial centre designation on Warrington Hospital and the people it serves


The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Communities which highlighted the Cheshire and Merseyside Vascular Review of the impact of non-arterial centre designation on Warrington Hospital and the people it serves.


The Board was advised that the Cheshire and Merseyside Vascular Review project board had informed Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that, subject to consultation, they would not be recommending to commissioners the designation of Warrington Hospital as an arterial centre.


The Board was further advised that senior staff at the hospital had shared with Warrington Health Consortium their concerns about the impact of this decision on Warrington Hospital and the people it serves.


It was reported that as lead commissioner for Warrington and Halton Trust, Warrington Health Consortium had concluded that these issues would require thorough assessment before a final decision was made about the designation of arterial centres.  It was convening a team to assess the impact of the proposed changes, and would not make a decision until that assessment was complete.


Furthermore, the assessment would involve the risk to local services that non-designation might pose.  This would include consideration of the impact on interventional radiology, trauma, stroke and other services for the people of Warrington and Halton, St Helens and Knowsley. In addition, it was reported that the assessment would not be complete before 30th September 2011.


      Dr. Tom Dent, Project Director, Cheshire and Merseyside Vascular Review, a  representative of the Cheshire and Merseyside Vascular Review, Board, Mr Simon Banks, Operational Director, NHS Halton and St Helens and Jackie Robinson, NHS Knowsley  were  present at the meeting to outline the proposals.


Arising from the discussion the following points were noted:


·        2000 responses from the consultation had been received from staff and public;


·        The bid from Warrington Hosipital did not meet the standards specified in 3 areas as follows:

o       such as not having 6 vascular surgeons and 6 interventional radiologists;

o       that the Carotid Endarterectomy procedure is carried out 100 times per year and Warrington was substantially short of this; and

o       a wider geographical population was assumed for the application than Warrington currently met. In order to reach the required figure, catchment population would need to be sought from Knowsley, Crewe, Leigh and Irlam, and it was felt that people from these areas already attended other hospitals;


·        When the results of the review panel revealed that it could not recommend that Warrington could become an arterial centre a team was set up to carry out a risk assessment of the impacts that the proposed changes would have on Halton and Warrington.  This would be completed in the autumn;


·        Members asked why it was proposed that there be two arterial centres rather than three.  In response it was noted that if there were too many hospitals performing the procedure it would not be as effective as carrying it out in a more focussed centre where the expertise would be higher as it would be carried out more frequently;


·        The proposal did not mean the end of vascular care at Warrington;


·        The highest respondents from the consultation were people from Halton and Warrington;


·        Concerns were raised in relation to transport and Halton residents having difficulties in accessing either the Countess of Chester or The Royal in Liverpool;


·        Warrington had applied to be a Trauma unit which was a separate issue from an arterial centre;


·        Concerns were raised as Members felt that the majority of residents from Halton and Warrington would attend The Royal Liverpool hospital which could result in that being overloaded and the Countess of Chester may not carry out enough procedures; and


·        Members suggested consultants operate on a rota basis, where they could attend Warrington, Chester and Liverpool hospitals, preventing the need to close the facility at Warrington.



Arising from the discussion Members requested that once the risk assessments of the impact had been completed a report be brought back to the Board in November. 


The Board also noted that Warrington was in the process of recruiting two more vascular surgeon’s and queried whether they could re-submit an application to the Vascular Review Board. In response it was noted that Warrington could re-submit an application to be an arterial centre, however they would have to prove that they met the criteria as effectively as Chester and Liverpool.

The Chair thanked Dr Tom Dent, Mr Simon Banks and Mrs Jackie Robinson for their informative presentation.


RESOLVED: That  a report be brought to the November meeting with the results of the risk assessment of impacts of the proposal on Halton and Warrington




Supporting documents: