Future Fit’s omission from NHS priority funding list casts further doubt on Future Fit
Today’s Budget has left Future Fit off a list of capital schemes to be prioritised for NHS England Funding.
The news throws further doubt over how the Future Fit process, which began four years ago to reconfigure hospital services and has cost around £4 million to date, can progress.
Earlier this month the area’s two CCGs agreed that Future Fit’s preferred option for hospital services, which comes with £312 million price tag, could go out for consultation.
Their preferred option would see Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital’s £28 million Women & Children’s Centre, opened just three years ago, move to the Royal Shrewsbury and downgrade the PRH’s 24/7 full A&E department to an Urgent Care Centre.
Council leader Shaun Davies said: “We have been very clear all along – we believe the whole Future Fit process is flawed.
“There seems to be a clear message today from NHS England that, after four years of work, Future Fit is not seen as one of the highest quality schemes with the strongest potential to help meet future demand in the NHS.
How can it be right that a process can drag on for four years to reach a point where it wants to consult on a preferred option that as yet has no clear funding.
“We’ve said many times that Future Fit makes no sense – even by their own standards this would be the biggest nonsense decision that would just baffle residents.
“Local people deserve better health services, whether that be in the community or hospital. They deserve investment in the right solutions that will care for, protect, support and enhance their communities and not pitch hospital versus hospital or community against community.
“It is time for a change in local NHS decision-makers and to rip up their tired old one-dimensional thinking and now move with pace and purpose to design solutions that meet the specific needs of all our different communities.”