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Spinal Surgery Services in Cheshire and Merseyside

The local NHS is looking at how spinal services are delivered in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Spinal services provide planned and emergency treatment for a diverse range of conditions; from the conservative management of pain, to complex surgery. They involve both orthopaedic and neurosurgical specialties, covering interventions carried out on large numbers of patients, as well as highly specialised procedures.

Hospital spinal care is being reviewed for a number of reasons:

  • We want to follow national recommendations for improving the quality of care, and reduce variation to make sure all patients get the same standard of care.
  • Evidence indicates that patients receive higher quality of care when teams perform procedures more often.
  • Local services are currently fragmented, and we can’t always make the best use of resources or clinical expertise.
  • Local clinicians and managers have agreed that it would be better to have a single journey of care for patients, and a shared approach across hospitals  for planning spinal services.

The main focus is on ensuring accessible, consistently high quality services that provide good clinical outcomes for patients who require spinal surgery. To achieve this, a vision for a single spinal service for Cheshire and Merseyside has been developed.

The single spinal service would be created through a partnership between Liverpool University Hospitals, The Walton Centre and Warrington and Halton Hospitals, working together on a single service model for spinal care. Complex and non-complex surgical procedures would take place at The Walton Centre, which is co-located with the major trauma centre for Cheshire and Merseyside at Aintree University Hospital.

To support the development of these plans, in late summer 2020 engagement was held with people who had experience of spinal services, to gather their views on proposals and better understand the impact of change. You can read a report about the engagement here.

Subject to approval by the boards of Liverpool University Hospitals and the Walton Centre, as the current providers of these services, and governing bodies of all the Cheshire and Merseyside clinical commissioning groups, the new service would be established during 2021.