Council’s formal response to Future Fit consultation
Telford & Wrekin Council is due to send health bosses its own formal response to a consultation on plans to shake up hospital services.
The consultation called ‘Future Fit’ run by the NHS is asking people for their views on two options on which hospital services should be based at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) and which services should be at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH).
‘Future Fit’ would prefer to site planned care such as operations by appointment at PRH and emergency care at RSH. It would mean the downgrading of the PRH’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 £28 million to Shrewsbury. The RSH would be the base for the county’s only full 24/7 A&E.
The Council’s preferred option, known as ‘Option 2’ in the consultation, is for the Telford to have emergency care and, with it, a fully functioning A&E department and keep the Women and Children’s Centre. The RSH would have planned care.
The Council’s formal response, to be considered by Cabinet when it meets on Thursday 12 July, outlines its key reasons:
•If Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin together with Mid Wales have £312 million to spend on hospitals, let’s get the best and most for the money.
•Option 2 will give the local NHS at least an extra £3.3 million each year to spend on more GPs and nurses.
•Option 2 will allow the NHS to invest in a second state of the art cancer centre.
•Two thirds of all children and pregnant women admitted to hospital live nearer to the Princess Royal Hospital. Choose Option 2 to keep the new £28 million Women and Children’s Centre where it is.
•More than half of people having planned operations live nearer to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Under Option 2, that’s where planned care would be based.
•Average emergency travel times are shorter to the Princess Royal Hospital. Under Option 2, that’s where the Emergency Centre would be based.
Cllr Arnold England, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “We have long argued why the preferred option of Future Fit is the worst choice for everybody, not just in Telford and Wrekin, but for Shropshire and mid Wales too.
“Future Fit’s preferred choice is the more expensive to deliver identical services. Some of the spare money freed up by Option 2 could be spent on, for example, a second cancer day unit so people in east Shropshire wouldn’t have to go so far for chemotherapy.
“Future Fit’s preferred option will have more of an impact on everyone and, in particular, the most vulnerable. Their option will move planned care and consultant-led Women and Children’s services further away from the very people who need them most. Quite simply, they’ve got it the wrong way round.
“This report is our most comprehensive and detailed analysis that has led to our conclusion that Option 2 is the better of the two options; it is better for all.
“This is our formal response. I would encourage everyone to look at it and then take part in the consultation themselves in support of our preferred option, Option 2.”
If approved by the Council’s Cabinet, the formal response will be submitted to Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Further information about Telford & Wrekin Council’s response to Future Fit can be found on its NHS4All campaign website www.nhs4all.co.uk
Further information about Future Fit can be found here: www.nhsfuturefit.org