Future Fit consultation to go ahead
The future of hospital services for Telford and east Shropshire is to go to public consultation.
It’s after health bosses were told they have secured the funding they would need to deliver ‘Future Fit’.
They have produced two options on which to consult. Their preferred option is not one preferred by Telford & Wrekin Council. It would involve siting emergency care in Shrewsbury and planned care in Telford. It would mean the downgrading of the Princess Royal Hospital’s 24/7 A&E department to an Urgent Care Centre and the loss of the Women and Children’s Centre, which opened less than four years ago costing £28million to Shrewsbury. The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital would be the base for the county’s only full 24/7 A&E.
The Council’s preferred option is for the Telford to have emergency care and, with it, a fully functioning A&E department and the retention of the Women and Children’s Centre. Shrewsbury would have planned care.
The consultation, due to start in approx.. one month will run for 12 weeks.
Cllr Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council said: “This announcement means a consultation will start soon and it will be our turn to have our say on the plans. We need to make sure that the option chosen after the consultation is the one that gives best value not just for now, but for future generations too.
“Future Fit have looked at all the options and come up with two. They prefer one, we prefer the other.
“We believe our preferred option, of having emergency care in Telford and planned care in Shrewsbury is better for everyone, including the mums-to-be treated at the Women and Children’s Centre. This centre came to Telford based on clinical need and that need is still there.
“Our preferred option is the best one to serve the growing population of Telford and east Shropshire. It will also cost less to run in the longer term, meaning there will be more money available for community-based health services.
“When the consultation opens next month, the public will be asked to choose. We will encourage as many people as possible to take part and choose our preferred option.
“We hope health bosses will listen to the people. Last year this Council held its biggest consultation in its history. It was a consultation where we listened to the hundreds who responded and we acted. The end result was what people wanted. We hope health bosses will do the same.”