Government refuse residents’ call to rethink Future Fit plans
The government have refused to reconsider plans to downgrade emergency services at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford despite a plea from the borough’s residents to rethink the controversial plans.
A letter urging the government to take a fresh look at hospital transformation plans was co-signed by over 22,000 residents and hand-delivered to Downing Street by the leader of the council, Shaun Davies, in January. A response was received at the end of last week.
In the response, Will Quince MP, Minister of State for Health, stated that the decision made in 2019 by Matt Hancock - the then Health Secretary - has not changed and that plans will continue to be developed.
Read the full letter from Will Quince MP.
These plans will see the Princess Royal’s 24-hour Accident & Emergency downgraded and consultant led care for women and children moved to Shrewsbury.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Shaun Davies (Labour) said: “It’s taken the government over 100 days to tell us that they will continue to ignore the views of Telford and Wrekin’s residents.
“More than 22,000 people urged Steve Barclay MP, the Healthy Secretary, to look again at plans that just don’t make sense for our borough. He’s not even replied in person.”
In 2018 when people were consulted on the plans, two in three people disagreed with moving emergency care to Shrewsbury.
If plans go ahead, Telford will become the biggest town in England without a full A&E service.
Councillor Davies continued: “Matt Hancock’s decision may not have changed, but the world around us certainly has.
“His decision did not take into account the impact of a global pandemic, a cost of living crisis or the fact that our population has been confirmed as one of the fastest growing in the country in the latest census data.
“Neither did his decision take account of once in a generation levels of inflation eating away at the £312m budget – a budget which is already far less than the £500m health leaders asked for back in August.
“I will not accept vague assurances that the additional funding needed for these non-sensical plans to go-ahead will be ‘considered’ as part of future planning. Either the money is available or it is not.”
The council is awaiting a response from the government to a formal legal request to the Health Secretary to use his powers to review the decisions made about the Prince Royal Hospital.