Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Patients' Group in Favour of Burns Shake-Up

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Patients' Group in Favour of Burns Shake-Up

Article excerpt

Byline: By Craig Thompson

A patients' group on Tyneside has controvers-ially backed plans to transfer burns victims out of the region.

The Gateshead group is "reluctantly" supporting proposals that could see life-threatening burns cases transferred to Manchester.

The move will come as a blow for neighbouring Newcastle hospitals, who wrote to Gateshead asking for support in opposing the changes.

Revelations that the burns service at the city's Royal Victoria Infirmary could be downgraded sparked fury when reported by the Chronicle earlier this year.

It led to members of the Newcastle Hospitals Patient Public Involvement (PPI) Forum writing letters to neighbouring hospital forums asking for backing.

One of the favoured options of the review proposals, from the National Burns Care Group (NBCG), is to deal with the North's most severe burns cases in Manchester rather than in Newcastle.

After carefully considering the plans, the Gateshead PPI Forum ( which also covers South Tyneside ( has now decided not to support Newcastle's opposition.

Board papers from the Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust state: "Gateshead Hospitals Forum carefully considered this appeal and the proposals being put forward by the National Burns Care Group.

"It concluded, reluctantly, that the proposals were the most workable option available subject to assurances there was no loss of resources in Newcastle and that support was given to enable families to be with any child treated in Manchester."

Len Fenwick, chief executive of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, has already expressed fears families could be forced to travel to the other side of the country for treatment should the plans go-ahead.

Seven-year-old Abbie Beattie has been a regular visitor at the burns unit after she pulled a kettle full of boiling water onto herself. …

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