Council Leader tells panel why Future Fit is a bad deal
The Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council has welcomed the opportunity to explain to an independent panel why plans to shake-up hospital services would be a “bad deal” for people in the borough and the rest of Shropshire.
Cllr Shaun Davies was yesterday (Wednesday 17 July) visited by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel to gather further evidence after the Council formally referred the NHS’ plans, known as ‘Future Fit’ to the Secretary of State for Health.
Under ‘Future Fit’, emergency care would be based at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and pre-planned operations would be carried out at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital. It would mean the county’s only full 24/7 A&E would be in Shrewsbury resulting in the downgrade of Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department. The consultant-led Women and Children’s Centre, which opened at PRH nearly five years ago costing £28 million, would also move to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
Cllr Davies said: “This is a very important part of the referral process and I welcome the fact that the submission we made earlier in writing is being taken so seriously.
“In our meeting yesterday, I re-iterated our strongly held belief based on evidence that the plans are not in the best interests of the health service in the area. Among the points I made were that these plans will not transform the whole system of healthcare and that these plans are not backed up by sufficient investment in out of hospital care.
“I reinforced our assertion that Telford, being the fastest growing town in the region, having clear clinical need for the Women and Children’s Centre were not sufficiently taken into account.
“I also spoke about our lack of confidence in the NHS in the way it tried to railroad these plans through.
“This was a very constructive meeting. I hope that when the Independent Reconfiguration Panel reports back, the Secretary of State for Health will think very carefully about the chances of these plans actually succeeding in transforming our local health services.”