Health Secretary urged to pause “rushed” hospitals decision and bring in support
“The process is now being rushed. We consider that a pause is necessary”.
That’s the message from the Leader and Deputy Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council in a letter to Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt voicing their concerns over how decisions are being made about the future of services at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital.
It was reported earlier this week that a non-financial appraisal of options as part of the NHS Future Fit programme will recommend the closure of the new £28million Women and Children’s Centre, just two years after it opened, and A&E at Telford and moving them to Shrewsbury.
In the letter Council Leader Shaun Davies and Deputy Leader Richard Overton warn the process is being rushed in order for it to be rubber-stamped by Telford and Shropshire’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) next month to hit a timetable for public consultation in December.
It also questions the make up of the non-financial appraisal panel which met last week. And it calls on Mr. Hunt to ensure, in the meantime, that both current A&Es are well staffed and maintained, drawing on spare capacity in other parts of the region’s hospital services, in order to keep them open.
The letter reads: “With just over a week until the two CCG Boards meet to make the final recommendation of the preferred option for consultation – this does not allow for proper consideration of the proposed recommendation.”
It adds: “we … would look to you and ask you and your senior team to broker and enable transitional consultant support for these Hospitals from neighbouring clinical networks to maintain the current service until the right sustainable long-term solution for hospital services across the county can be put in place.”
On Thursday 6 October an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Council will be held to formally request that Mr Hunt intervenes and halts the plan that would see these two key services leave the PRH.