Future Fit A&E cost figures questioned

The plans to reconfigure local hospital services in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are in confusion after figures published this week contradicted those published previously.

Future Fit A&E cost figures questioned

Earlier this year, the Future Fit programme that is overseeing plans for reconfiguration of hospital services, said that redeveloping the Princess Royal Hospital would cost significantly less than other options.   

The Council says that the figures just published confirm that the threat to the PRH remains as strong as ever.

These show three options that the Future Fit Board is looking at:
• Option one would put A&E services at the Royal Shrewsbury, with an urgent care centre and local planned care. The PRH would lose it’s A&E department but retain women’s and children’s services, diagnostic treatment centre, urgent care and local planned care. This would cost £280 million.
• Option two would see the PRH house the only A&E department, an urgent care centre and local planned care and obstetrics. The RSH would provide diagnostic treatment, urgent care and locally planned care. This would cost £294 million.
• Option three would see the RSH have the only A&E department, urgent care locally planned care and obstetrics. The PRH would provide diagnostic treatment, an urgent care centre and local planned care. This would cost £354 million.

Yet earlier this year, Future Fit figures showed that concentrating services at the PRH was up to £50 million less than the cost of other options.

At a time when Shrewsbury & Telford Hospitals NHS Trust faces a £17m deficit this year, predicted to rise to almost £23 million next year, the Council says that any proposal must also help address this.

The Council has also said that any option that moves the new £28 million Women and Children’s centre from PRH would be seen as “madness”.

Cllr Richard Overton, deputy leader and cabinet member with responsibility for health and well being, said the latest published figures brought into question the whole Future Fit process.

“I am baffled how in just a few months the figures can be turned on their head against PRH.

“Our view remains - PRH offers the area’s health services the best value and is the most viable site to develop.

“It is also madness that Future Fit can even consider closing the Women’s and Children’s centre at PRH just one year after it opened at a cost of £28 million.

“At a time when SaTH faces a very substantial and growing deficit, if this is the conclusion that Future Fit draws, it begs the question is Future Fit fit for purpose.

“We will be watching developments very closely. If we believe that the process is flawed, we will challenge this most forcefully.”

The Council has unanimously backed retaining 24-hour full A&E services at the Princess Royal Hospital.