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Trust to invest in Wrightington Hospital

News Date: Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust Board met yesterday to consider a report from specialist external consultants, EC Harris, on the future options for specialist orthopaedic services currently provided at Wrightington Hospital. EC Harris were commissioned in September 2007 to advise the Trust on the relative merits of three options;

  • to do the minimum to keep services running at Wrightington in existing buildings
  • to plan to move all orthopaedic services onto the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary site, or
  • to redevelop the Wrightington site.

Yesterday the Trust Board was unanimous in reconfirming both its absolute commitment to retaining specialist orthopaedic services at Wrightington Hospital and importantly to invest in the site, significantly improving the estate.
Much more detailed work remains to be done and crucially, Wrightington Hospital must achieve a level of income that will make the investment affordable. Nonetheless, this decision signals a major commitment to continuing at Wrightington, the joint replacement work pioneered there by Professor Charnley in the 1960s. It is justified by investing in the commitment shown over the last 20 years by the orthopaedic work force. This decision sits alongside the Trust's plans to invest in Phase 5 at Wigan Infirmary and a phased redevelopment of Leigh Infirmary.
Andrew Foster, Chief Executive said "I know that there has been a long period of uncertainty which has been particularly difficult for staff working at Wrightington Hospital. But it was essential that the Trust carried out a thorough and robust analysis of all of the issues before committing to a major investment. I am delighted that we have now decided that the excellent work at Wrightington must continue and that the case for investment there has been agreed."