The march against threatened closures of Trafford General Hospital's A&E and Intensive Care departments is due to start now, followed by a rally at 1pm. Trafford NHS says that the hospital's small size means changes will have to be made in order to keep it financially viable.
"The NHS in Trafford and local clinicians are working together to ensure that services can continue to be provided at Trafford General Hospital. It is one of the smallest hospitals in the country and runs the second smallest accident and emgergency department in the country.
The relatively low numbers of patients using the hospital means the services are not clinically sustainable and could become unsafe in the future. It also costs the local health economy £19 million more a year than is available.
These things combined mean that the future of the hospital is under threat if changes aren't made. A proposal will be going out to public consultation that has been put together to solve these issues. Everyone will have the chance to have their say before any final decisions are made."
Over a hundred people are expected to march today in protest at threats to shut the A&E and Intensive Care departments at Trafford General Hospital. The hospital was the birthplace of the NHS - the first in the world to offer free healthcare to all. Today is its 64th birthday.