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Battle to retain vascular services at Wirral hospital continues
A SCHEME to transfer specialist vascular services from Wirral’s main hospital to Chester could be the subject of a court ruling.
Wirral TUC is hoping a judicial review will stop vascular surgical procedures being moved from Arrowe Park Hospital to the Countess of Chester.
The plans were given the go-ahead last year despite opposition from MPs, trade unions and some senior clinicians.
They argued Arrowe Park should be made the region’s “centre for excellence” and claimed that the transfer of services would lead to patients’ lives being put at risk due to the extra travelling time.
NHS officials say the switch to Chester would result in better treatment for Wirral patients.
Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil Davies sent a formal request to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to ask for a full review of the controversial decision.
But an independent panel – recognised as the UK expert on NHS change –ruled the processes which led to the decision being made were fair and reasonable.
Now Alec McFadden, a leading figure in Wirral TUC, is hoping the project could still be halted.
He said: “We are in the process of speaking to our solicitors who will then contact a QC to start legal proceedings.
“We’re hoping judicial review will start very soon and then things can get moving.
“I am confident the transfer plans will be stopped because, in my view, the people who carried this out had a vested interest and the consultation was flawed.”
He believes the review, funded by Wirral TUC, could begin as early as next month.
Councillor Davies said he has been in correspondence with Wirral's four MPs to see if any Parliamentary avenues could yet be explored to try to quash the decision.
The Globe has contacted NHS Wirral for a response