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“If Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin together with Mid Wales have £312m to spend on hospitals, let’s get the best and most for the money.”
That’s the rallying cry from the Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council at the launch of ‘NHS4All’ to create a better NHS for everybody in Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire and Mid Wales.
‘NHS4All’ follows on the‘PRH4Me’ campaign to protect vital hospital services which was launched in March 2016 and attracted more than 33,000 pledges of support.
‘NHS4All’ comes just as a 14 week consultation has begun on plans by the NHS in the area to reconfigure services at the Princess Royal (PRH) and Royal Shrewsbury (RSH) hospitals.
The NHS plan, known as ‘Future Fit’, wants the Women and Children’s Centre (currently based at PRH in Telford), a 24/7 full A&E and emergency care to be based at one hospital and pre-planned operations at the other. Both options have a 24/7 urgent care centre. The consultation asks the public for their views on two options.
Future Fit’s preference is to site a new Women & Children’s Centre and 24/7 full A&E services at the RSH.
However, Telford & Wrekin Council believes the best option is to keep the Women and Children’s Centre and 24/7 full A&E in Telford. The Council also says planned care should be at RSH because more than half of people having planned operations live nearer to RSH
The new ‘NHS4All’ campaign explains why and urges the public to take part in the consultation and back Option Two – which keeps the Women and Children’s Centre and 24/7 full A&E at PRH.
Cllr Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “Future Fit divides communities, involves a damaging and discredited PFI deal and will cost generations to come millions of pounds in repayment charges.
“We do not accept their preferred option which would see the Princess Royal Hospital lose its new £28million Consultant led Women and Children’s Centre, opened four years ago based on clinical need, and its full 24 hour A&E.
“We say that the consultation’s Option 2 gives everyone the best possible services.
“It will retain at PRH vital services such the Women and Children’s Centre that Telford and east Shropshire need. Two thirds of all children and pregnant women admitted to hospital live nearer to the PRH.
It will provide the rest of Shropshire and our neighbours in Mid Wales with Shrewsbury as a more accessible place for their planned operations. More than half of people having planned operations live nearer to the RSH
“Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Mid Wales have been told it has £312 million to spend on hospitals. OUR preferred option will cost the NHS a massive £63 million pounds less.
“Just think of what else the NHS could get for that. They could spend it on a second state of the art cancer centre. Our preferred option would give the NHS AT LEAST an extra £3.3 million each year that they could spend on more doctors and nurses.
“I urge everyone - take part in the consultation and say how the preferred option affects you. We believe Option 2 will give the best health service for everybody and the most for the £312 million Future Fit funding, the vast majority of which will be borrowed.
Future Fit information and consultation survey https://www.nhsfuturefit.org/about-nhs-futurefit