Council’s concerns around process stress need for pause
The leader and Managing Director of Telford & Wrekin Council have today written to the borough’s Clinical Commissioning Group chief officer outlining the Council’s deep concerns over the Future Fit process.
The letter, following advice and discussions with top legal counsel, fires a very clear warning shot at the Future Fit decision making process, which plans to recommend closing Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital’s Womens and Children’s Unit and A&E and move these to Shrewsbury.
Signed by Council leader Shaun Davies and managing director Richard Partington, the letter to CCG boss David Evans warns that if the process around reorganising hospital services goes ahead as NHS bosses want it to, the Council would have very strong grounds to judicially review the decision.
The Council again urges the CCG to pause the process to allow properly informed views in the decision making process and has asked for a response by the end of this week.
Cllr Davies said: “I trust that this makes it clear that we are very serious about seeking judicial review if we have to.
“We have very serious concerns about the whole decision-making process, particularly for the non–financial appraisal.
“If this goes ahead, there is a very great risk that it would be a decision based on a questionable process by people who have not been given the right tools to make that decision, a decision would affect hundreds of thousands people’s access to key health care services. We believe that we have a very strong case for judicial review, although we hope that common sense can prevail and this process put on hold.
“It would make no sense for one public authority - this Council – which has already had its budget cut by tens of millions of pounds, to take on another public authority in an NHS organisation, through the courts. And that is why health bosses must stop and take a pause.”
If the NHS agrees to pause the process, Cllr Davies says that CCG must do everything in its powers to ensure 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 Council also adds that any decision to move the £28m Women’s & Children’s Centre from the PRH, built there because of clinical need just two years ago, makes no sense when that need has not changed.
The letter can be viewed at this link: