Response to McCarthy comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment. There are a number of accusations here that the Council would like to respond to. The action we are taking against Future Fit is not about vote-winning, it is about protecting our hospital services for the good of the people who live in the borough and the surrounding areas who rely on the services the PRH provides. Telford & Wrekin Council has long been active and very vocal in its response to Future Fit proposals to downgrade services in the County and at our PRH. Future Fit bosses are currently looking at moving the PRH’s highly successful Women & Children’s Unit, which opened at a cost of £28 million just two years ago, and closing its A&E. We have seen no evidence that would make sense of this decision – either clinically or financially, and we believe the process followed to arrive at this decision is flawed. You ask “Is the Council arguing that Future Fit seem to care too much about patient care and not enough about money?”. Our answer is NO. Our latest letter questions the integrity of the decision making process.Future Fit’s original intention was to assess the ‘financial’ and ‘non-financial’ cases with equal weighting. By Future Fit’s own admission there was a heavy weighting (19:1) placed on the non-financial case. Future Fit has therefore “moved the goalposts”. It has always been the Council’s view that any decision made should be done so in a fair and legal way. In addition to this skewed weighting, we believe that there has also been a bias in the panel set up to assess the non-financial case and that some members of the panel presented their personal thoughts and then went on to vote; further adding to the impression of bias. This is why the Council believes the process is flawed, unfair and open to legal challenge.You are quite right though when you say “wherever the cuts are delivered we all suffer because it is about downsizing all the NHS health provisions at a time of rising demand”. We believe that a county the size of Shropshire needs both of its hospitals to be properly funded to retain their services.


MCCARTHY

Telford and Wrekin council have responded to the Future Fit Programme Board with arguments that prove that a) they have accepted the premise that Future Fit is a remodelling solution that purports to provide the most effective health provision for the region andb) that if Telford retains its A&E department the residents of the borough will have won an important battle - of course because of their endeavours. Such behaviour as representatives of 170,00 citizens is beyond contempt because a) they know that the purpose of Future Fit is to deliver Austerity health provision for our region. Future Fit is not a bespoke solution but a cuts template that is being delivered throughout 44 regions by the Strategic Transformation Plans and b) wherever the cuts are delivered we all suffer because it is about downsizing all the NHS health provisions at a time of rising demand.At one point in this idiotic letter they argue that it's just not fair that the board has disregarded non financial issues and are fixated on maximising clinical outcomes. Is the Council arguing that Future Fit seem to care too much about patient care and not enough about money?It seems to me that they are not prepared to fight Future Fit but just to make the consequences less vote-losing for themselves. Telford residents need to ask whose side these councillors are really on.