Leader reacts to Secretary of State’s move on hospital shake-up plans
Council leader Shaun Davies has given a guarded welcomed to the news that Health Secretary Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP has passed the Council’s request to review Future Fit’s decision on the future of hospital services in the area on to the next stage of the referral process.
The Council, who made the referral on 20 March, was informed this afternoon that the Health Secretary has passed this on to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.
The panel will now review in more detail the case the council has made and is expected to report back by the end of May.
Cllr Davies said: “I have time and time again been asking the Secretary of State to intervene and he has now only agreed to do so after being forced to by our submission of the referral request.
“This decision makes it clear that we have made a strong and robust case, because the request could have been rejected at this stage.
“This is merely the first step in what I fully expect to be a drawn-out process but we must make sure that it does not lead to the Health Secretary just kicking the Future Fit can further down the road. It avoids him making any decision until after May’s elections.”
The plans to reconfigure the area’s hospital services, known as ‘Future Fit’ proposes, to downgrade the A&E department at the Princess Royal Hospital and move its consultant-led Women and Children’s Centre to Shrewsbury to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
This decision was made by Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs who decide on and pay for health services in their areas) at the end of January.
Telford & Wrekin Council used its legal powers to refer the decision to the Secretary of State because it believes that the Future Fit decision is not in the best interests of health services in the area. The Council also says that the consultation with the Joint Scrutiny Committee was inadequate.