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.