Hospitals’ future plans now in Secretary of State’s hands

The Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council has urged on Secretary of State Matt Hancock to act on the referral the Council has made on the local NHS’ decision on the future of hospital services in the area.

Hospitals’ future plans now in Secretary of State’s hands

The Council in March submitted a request to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to review the Future Fit decision by the area’s two CCGs because it believes it is not in the best interests of health services in the area. The Council also says that the consultation with the Joint Scrutiny Committee was inadequate.

This referral has now been reviewed by an independent panel who have then passed their information on to the Secretary of State who will now make a final decision.

Cllr Davies said: “Over the last four years this council time and time again asked the Secretary of State to intervene – now he has no choice but to finally do so.

“This is another indication of the strong grounds for our referral which has now passed through another phase of the process.

“The Secretary of State has ample information. He has the power to ensure that any decision is made properly with full consultation and the full facts, particularly about how such a scheme can be afforded when there is no confirmation that the Trust even has the full £312 million it needs to borrow to make Future Fit happen while its full business case has yet to be approved.

“Future Fit flies in the face of assurances from the then Secretary of State in 2014 that we would keep both A&Es at Shrewsbury and Telford.

“It is thrown into further doubt by today’s news that the chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals’ Trust is leaving in the next few weeks. We now need a fresh start and for Future Fit to be scrapped. We need to come together to design a health and adult social care system which is fairly funded and delivers excellent services.”

The plans to reconfigure the area’s hospital services, known as ‘Future Fit’, proposes to downgrade the A&E department at the Princess Royal Hospital and move its consultant-led Women and Children’s Centre to Shrewsbury to the Secretary of State.

This decision was made by Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs who decide on and pay for health services in their areas) at the end of January.