"Do the right thing, back Option Two,” CCG urged
The Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council has made an impassioned plea to the area’s health bosses - do the right thing for the borough and back Option Two in the Future Fit consultation on the future of hospital services for the borough, Shropshire and Mid Wales.
The consultation 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.
Speaking at the first meeting of Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group since the start of the consultation six weeks ago, leader Cllr Shaun Davies asked CCG Board members to back Option 2 in a consultation that is forcing people to choose between the two options
“We must do what is right for our residents and Option 2 is not just better for our borough, it is better for everybody.
“Both options provide exactly the same services but by preferring to have planned care in Telford, you favoured the option that is far more expensive and impacts the most people, moving care away from concentrations of people who most need it.
“Two-thirds of all children and pregnant women admitted to hospital live nearer the PRH. It would be madness to move the Womens & Children’s Centre from PRH just 4 years after it opened at a cost of £28 million. Why move it when the clinical need is here?
“Why site the county’s only emergency centre in Shrewsbury when average emergency travel times are shorter to the PRH?
“Why concentrate planned operations in Telford when more than half those having planned care live nearer to the RSH?
“Future Fit’s own impact assessment highlights the difficulties older people (in particular in the West) have trying to get themselves to hospital for their operations.
“You favour the more expensive option - Option 1 could cost at least £3.3 million per year more in borrowing money that could be much better spent on primary and community services to keep people out of hospital.
“You are here to represent the interests of the people of Telford and Wrekin, so do the right thing - back the Option that is better for the majority, not just here but elsewhere. That’s Option Two.”
Cllr Davies ended by saying that the CCG should ignore any rumours of abolition or merger with other NHS bodies if it speaks out against Option One and instead join the Council and together fight for the residents they represent.
He said he would also be sending each board member a copy of the Council’s detailed response to the consultation which closes on 4 September. Anyone can take part in the consultation online at www.nhsfuturefit.org or can learn more about the Council’s campaign at www.nhs4all.co.uk