Council analysis shows Future Fit data should have PRH as preferred option
Telford & Wrekin Council is today demanding that the Future Fit Board urgently instruct an independent expert to review the information and evidence used to recommend closing the Princess Royal Hospital’s Women’s & Children’s Centre and A&E.
Last week Future Fit, which is looking at the future of hospital services, recommended the £28 million Women & Children’s Unit, opened only two years ago based on clinical need, and 24/7 A&E services move from the PRH to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
The Council has long argued that Future Fit has followed a flawed decision-making process which included a flawed presentation of the facts leading to this recommendation.
The Council has carried out its own analysis of the same data and concluded that if it used without interpretation and bias, the Princess Royal Hospital comes out as the preferred option. Its analysis of the way the information was used by Future Fit to justify its decision shows this has many errors in methodology and assumptions.
Together these have skewed the financial and non-financial assessments significantly in favour of the RSH.
Future Fit originally stated that the financial and non-financial cases for each option would have a 50:50 weighting but errors in the process and the information’s interpretation have created a 98:2 bias towards the non-financial option, which appears to favour Shrewsbury.
When the information is interpreted without such errors and bias, it would show PRH as the preferred option, according to the Council’s research.
In October, Telford & Wrekin raised these concerns with Future Fit, however Future Fit have continued to use this information largely unchanged to justify its recommendation to close key services at the PRH.
Council leader Shaun Davies says that the Future Fit programme must urgently get an independent source to confirm or refute the Council’s analysis.
“Look at the information in a truly objective manner and you get a completely different outcome – when done right, the PRH is the preferred option.
“Next week the CCGs will be asked to make a decision of immense consequence, yet they are being asked to do so based on information presented in a flawed manner and recommendations with error-strewn assumptions.
“We warned the Future Fit programme of these concerns in October, but they have chosen blunder. They seem to simply not understand the issues we are raising.
“I don’t for a moment expect the Future Fit programme to take my word for this – so urge them to agree with the Council on an independent expert to verify what I believe - their information when used correctly shows that PRH is the preferred option.
“Finally I ask the Boards of the two CCGs – are you confident in the information being presented to you?
“If not, you risk taking a decision based on falsehoods and misinformation that will affect hundreds of thousands of people and access to health care here for decades.
“Those board members need assurance that they are making this decision using accurate information. They must have this to serve the best interests of those they are appointed to represent.
“I don’t think they can say with any certainty or conviction that is now the case.
“People want a process that is fair, legal and objective information before them. Future Fit I believe is currently none of these.”