Why Option 2 will give the most and the best for the money
Option 2 could provide a new cancer day unit, more GPs, more nurses and better funded community services
The pre-consultation business case is clear that Option 2 is ‘the preferred option considered from a finance perspective’ - Future Fit’s own words, not ours.
Under Option 2, less money will be spent on buildings and borrowing, which means any spare cash could be invested in other NHS services such as community and primary care.
The capital cost of Option 1 is £312. Option 2 would provide exactly the same hospital services, but would only cost £249m, that’s £63m less. Just think what you could do with that.
A new cancer day unit
The consultation highlights the need for two adult cancer day units as currently there is only one at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
The capital costs of another cancer day unit could cost approximately £4m to £5m. Even with this added, Option 2 still costs a lot less than Option 1.
Having a second cancer day unit would mean that cancer patients in east Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin would not have to travel as far for their regular chemotherapy treatment.
More money for GPs and nurses
We have previously talked about how the majority of funding for Future Fit is coming from loans. Option 1 would commit the NHS with many millions of extra pounds in interest payments for many decades to come compared with Option 2. This will have consequences.
According to the pre-consultation business case the cost of borrowing the additional capital is at least £3.3m more each year and over a long period of time – such as 60 years – this will add up.
Under Option 2 this £3.3m could be spent on services in primary care – the first point of contact for the NHS. Primary care services, such as GPs, community pharmacies, and community care services, such as district nurses, aim to keep people out of Hospital in the first place.
For example, the money saved under Option 2 could fund 12 GPs, 30 senior nurses and 25 junior nurses.
Primary and community care services are important. Successful hospital care is dependent on effective well-resourced primary and community care to help keep people out of hospital. Rather than spending money on unnecessary borrowing for more buildings, more could be invested in the primary and community care services that people across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales need.
How the finances of Future Fit will impact you
• Option 2 has spare capital funding that could be used to build a new day cancer unit. If you live in East Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, Option 2 could significantly reduce your travel times for chemotherapy should you have cancer.
• Option 2 would give the NHS at least £3.3m per year for primary and community care. This means more GPs and better resourced community services to provide care in people’s homes. This would help people in rural locations across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales especially.
Join our campaign for a better NHS for everybody
Over the next few weeks we will be updating this blog with news and information about the Future Fit consultation and our campaign and making our case for why we think that Option 2 is better for all.
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