Stepping Hill Hospital is urging the High Peak to fight plans that could see patients travel to Manchester for emergency surgery.
The Stockport NHS Foundation Trust is appealing to residents to take part in a consultation and support the Stockport hospital’s bid to become a ‘specialist hospital’.
If unsuccessful, it is likely High Peak patients requiring emergency attention would be taken to Wythenshawe Hospital, in South Manchester.
Under the Healthier Together initiative, emergency and high risk surgery at the ten Greater Manchester acute hospitals will be centralised into four or five ‘specialist hospitals’.
The remainder would be classified as ‘local hospitals’ and would only carry out planned procedures.
Of the 500,000 patients seen every year at Stepping Hill, ten per cent are from the High Peak, five per cent from East Cheshire and four per cent from Tameside and Glossop.
The Healthier Together travel standards state that everyone must be able to get to a ‘specialist hospital’ within 45 minutes in an emergency ambulance and via public transport to visit a patient in 75 minutes.
Dr James Catania, medical director of the trust, added: “It is essential that local people respond to the Healthier Together consultation and make their voice heard.
“Stepping Hill needs to be a specialist hospital to ensure that we can continue providing the very highest level of emergency surgery.
“Specialist hospital status would not only ensure people in the High Peak had a nearby hospital able to provide high-level emergency care, but it would continue to allow us to develop our other high quality surgical services.
“We have a strong track record and we believe our location makes it critical we do not lose emergency services. But we need the public’s support. This is a public consultation and local people need to speak up about this.”
There is a public event on July 22, from 1am to 1.30pm, at New Mills Town Hall, on Spring Bank, New Mills.
Residents can comment on the initiative online by completing the questionnaire, which is asking people to choose which hospitals they think should become a specialist, at healthiertogethergm.nhs.uk.
People can also ring the Healthier Together consultation team on freephone 0800 888 6789, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @healthierGM.
The consultation is running for 12 weeks, until September 28.