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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
North West: NHS - Centralised care outcry
Lucy Breakwell
The Politics Show North West

Kitty Ussher MP
Kitty Ussher MP is lending her support against the healthcare shake-up

In the week that the Labour Party comes to Manchester for their annual conference, the Politics Show in the North West will be broadcasting live from the heart of the action.

We are talking health... looking at the numerous reviews of services that are happening right across the region.

It was announced on Thursday, that seriously ill or injured patients will no longer be sent to Burnley General Hospital - they will go to Blackburn instead.

The accident and emergency unit will be replaced by a casualty unit as part of a shake up of health services in East Lancashire.

The decision has caused outrage in the local community and the Burnley Labour MP, Kitty Ussher, has been a vocal campaigner against the plans.

The changes fall in line with the government's vision for the NHS which they say needs to change to meet the needs of an ever changing society.

Ministers say that more "locality" hospitals are what is needed.

Patient on stretcher
What will be the implications for emergency health casre?

Healthy futures?

Minor injuries and small operations can be dealt with in smaller hospitals or clinics and when someone is seriously ill or injured, the best place for them to be is in a large hospital where emergency care is centralised.

It is not only East Lancashire where change is planned.

Over the last year, in Greater Manchester, there have been two reviews of services. "Healthy Futures".

These looked at services in North East Manchester and reported back, last week, with the news that Rochdale Infirmary will become one of the country's first locality hospitals.

Patient on operating table
Is it always a case of the larger hospital providing the best care?

It will have an urgent care centre, but acute accident and emergency services will be provided at Fairfield General in Oldham, North Manchester General and The Royal Oldham Hospital.

In the North of the region, there are proposals to close the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal to all or some urgent medical cases such as patients suffering from heart attacks and strokes.

They would be treated at Furness General in Barrow or the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

We'll be hearing both sides of the story on Sunday, live from the Labour conference.

Also in the programme...

We will be looking back to the last time the Labour Party held their conference in Manchester.

It was in 1917 in the Albert Hall on Peter Street.

One of the issues on the agenda 89 years ago was Clause 4.

Members wanted the big industries - rail, coal and steel to be owned, not by the bosses, but by the workers.

So join the Politics Show live on BBC1 at 12 with Anthony Wilson and Gill Dummigan.

Join Tony Wilson on the Politics Show on Sunday 17 September 2006 at 12:00 BST on BBC One.

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