Telford & Wrekin Council has produced more reasons why it makes no sense to close the Princess Royal Hospital’s Women and Children’s Centre and move it to Shrewsbury.
The state-of-the-art centre opened in September 2014 at a cost of £28 million. The Board of ‘Future Fit’ which has been looking at the future of hospital services in the county, is now recommending its closure in Telford and move to Shrewsbury.
Council Leader Shaun Davies said: “The facts make further mockery of the reasoning why Future Fit has said the Women and Children’s Centre should close and move from PRH.
Telford was chosen as the location for the new Women and Children’s Centre on the basis of clinical need. That clinical need has not changed and that together with these facts it’s clear to see why so many people are saying to me that Future Fit’s recommendation makes absolutely no sense.”
Telford and Wrekin has:
• the county’s highest concentrations of children and young people and women aged 16-44 years with higher level of risk factors related to deprivation, lifestyle and ethnic origin.
• a greater proportion of women of child-bearing age (36%) compared with Shropshire (30%), with higher fertility rates
• 29% of women of child bearing age who live in some of the country’s most deprived localities compared with 6% in Shropshire
• Just over a fifth (22%) of children & young people (aged under 20 years) live in poverty in Telford and Wrekin, compared to 12% in Shropshire.
• The population of Telford and Wrekin is expected to increase by 13.4% by 2031, compared to 6.2% in Shropshire. The population of Powys is expected to fall by 3.4%.
Cllr Davies added: “Not only does it not make sense to close a £28m centre just two years after it was opened, something we have already argued, it would also not make sense, based on population’s health needs, to move it.
“Next week, Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire’s Clinical Commissioning Groups, who pay for the health services we receive, will decide where to site the Women and Children’s Centre as well as the proposed single A&E for the county.
“The recommendation by the ‘Future Fit’ board is to have both services in Shrewsbury. We argue that the ‘Future Fit’ Board’s presentation of the evidence leading to this recommendation is flawed and we intend to prove it.”