Council tells Future Fit: Give us say on independent review

Telford & Wrekin Council must be given a say on the work of an independent review into the concerns about the Future Fit process and in the appointment of any independent expert to undertake the review.

Council tells Future Fit: Give us say on independent review

The Future Fit programme Board, which is overseeing the reconfiguration of local hospital services, has told council leader Shaun Davies that it will commission a review and agree any terms of reference for this.

The Council is warning that this approach risks raising question marks over any review’s independence.

Cllr Davies said: “Barely a month ago, the Future Fit board were convinced their appraisal was sufficiently robust to proceed with a decision that would have moved the £28m Women’s & Children’s Unit and A&E services from the Princess Royal Hospital.

“They now have been forced to concede, largely thanks to concerns raised by the Council, that there are very significant issues with their appraisal and the lack of impact assessment into the proposed Women’s & Children’s Centre move.

“This would sound warning bells with most right minded people. However Future Fit appear to want to plough ahead and appoint on their terms a review and an “independent person” to lead this review.

“To many people here, that’s like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop.”

The Council says it should be involved in the appointment of both to help avoid future doubts over impartiality.

It also says that there should be no move now to appoint an independent chair with a casting vote of the joint CCG panel that will make any decisions on recommendations from Future Fit.

If the review does its job properly, then this shouldn’t be needed as the CCGs will have the correct information in front of them to make a decision that is fair, legal and transparent.

Cllr Davies added: “I urge Future Fit to listen and take every step now to ensure that the public can have full faith in the independence of this review process and any decisions that follow.”