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Have your say on changes to heart services

Date published: 20 December 2011

Changes are being made to the way cardiology and stroke rehabilitation is to be provided and residents are invited to have their say at public meetings.

The changes affect residents in Rossendale, Rochdale, Oldham and Bury.
Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is relocating its Silver Heart Unit at Rochdale Infirmary to Fairfield General Hospital in Bury because of advances in treatments and diagnostic tests.

The trust is acting on advice from the National Clinical Director for Heart Disease Professor Roger Boyle who said there would be a “serious risk to patient safety” were the unit to stay at Rochdale because of need to have access to in-patient beds with critical care and anaesthetic responses.

The trust wants to ensure residents understand the actions and also wants to consult on the future for stroke rehabilitation.

There are two options being considered, firstly delivering the service in a specialist acute stroke facility at Fairfield General Hospital with community stroke services being developed to support timely, or early, discharge for those patients suitable.

The second option would be to have an additional ‘step-down’ facility within Rochdale but this would have to be funded by cutting services elsewhere.
Rossendale-based charity REAL has been asked to help promote the consultations in Whitworth, Bacup and Rawtenstall.

Community development worker Pat Smith said: “These are some very important changes being made, which people should be aware of.

“We are helping to publicise these meetings using our links in the community and if people want to have their say they should go online and read the documents and fill in the questionnaire or attend one of the meetings to speak directly to the experts.”

To check out the plans online visit and click on online consultation to view the full report, summary and online questionnaire.

Information on the changes will be available at Bacup’s Irwell Medical Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday January 3 and 4 and the Healthy Futures team will be on hand to answer any questions at Rawtenstall’s Asda on Wednesday January 4 from 11.00am to 3.00pm.

A public meeting will be held at Whitworth’s Riverside on Thursday January 5 from 6.00pm to 8pm where experts will talk about the planned changes and answer questions.