Council’s ‘no confidence’ in hospital bosses
Telford & Wrekin councillors are to vote on a motion of ‘no confidence’ in the management board of the NHS Trust that runs Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital.
It comes after the revelation this spring that the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) is considering closing the PRH’s A&E department overnight.
This follows the news this week that the group (known as ‘Future Fit’) overseeing changes to hospital services in Shrewsbury and Telford expects to consult in September on plans that have previously proposed move vital services from the PRH to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, which is also run by SaTH.
The no confidence motion, requested by all the main political groups on the Council, is to be discussed at a meeting of the Full Council at 6pm on Thursday 20 July at Oakengates Theatre.
Council Leader Shaun Davies said: “This is an NHS Trust in crisis with a mounting catalogue of problems in how it is managing services now and in the future.
“We support the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professional staff who work so hard at the hospitals and across the NHS. This is not a battle with them – this is a battle with those making the decisions and the way they are going about making decisions about the future of the services being provided.
“SaTH have previously been very clear. Their preferred option has been to close the PRH’s Women and Children’s Centre less than 3 years after it opened at a cost of £28m and move this to Shrewsbury despite a clear and established clinical need here in Telford.
“They are thinking of closing Telford’s A&E overnight from this Autumn which could lead to a permanent ‘back-door’ closure of this service.
“At the same time, they are closing midwife-led maternity units across Shropshire.”
Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Deputy Leader added: “SaTH’s preferred option is to remove full 24/7 A&E services and close the Women’s & Childrens Unit. This goes against the advice of the NHS’s own Clinical Senate of senior clinicians who noted that this borough has a younger population than the rest of Shropshire.
“It seems that SaTH appear to have predetermined the outcome of the Future Fit process to help among other things sort their financial issues.
“This from a Trust that, at the beginning of this year, couldn’t even afford to pay the bill for sandwiches.”
Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Bill Tomlinson said: “We should expect the very best medical care in the county.
“To rip out the Women and Children’s unit from Telford and move it to Shrewsbury would be madness. It was built in Telford because of the clinical need for it – that need is now many times stronger.”
“We need to have confidence in the management of this Trust which at the moment is clearly lacking.”
The Motion which will be debated by the Council at its meeting on 20 July reads:
“This Council notes with grave concern that SaTH are considering the overnight closure of the PRH 24/7 Accident and Emergency Service potentially from September 2017.
“We feel that this is yet again another attack on vital services provided at the PRH and appears inconsistent with previously made clinical arguments, including the location of the Women & Children’s Centre on the same site as the 24/7 A&E Unit.
“As a result of this new development and previous attempts to move crucial services away from PRH, this Council no longer has confidence in SaTH’s Management Board to deliver safe and sustainable health services.
“This Council further calls for health provision to be configured in such a way at the Princess Royal Hospital as to attract the required number and quality of Consultants to facilitate the delivery of a safe and sustainable service.
“As our local health services have now reached a crisis point, this Council calls upon the Secretary of State for Health to immediately intervene in this increasingly worrying situation.”