At last Future Fit publishes plans for the future of Shropshire’s main hospitals

The controversy has only just begun. Yesterday morning, the Future Fit board firmed up its recommendations on how to split services between the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princes Royal Hospital in Telford.

Both hospitals will have urgent care centres (UCCs) open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is predicted that the UCCs will take 80% of the cases that currently go to A&E.

There will be one A&E. That will be at the RSH. People in Telford are understandingly not happy with that. Neither are they happy that the Women and Children’s Centre, opened at the PRH in September at the cost of £28 million, will move to Shrewsbury.

This is not a decision. The recommendations must be approved by the Clinical Commissioning Groups – they fund health services in the county. After which, there will be a public consultation on the final proposals. A final decision is expected to be made next summer.

The Future Fit board yesterday decided on its preferred option.[1]

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Emergency and critical care
Urgent care (24/7)
Complex surgery
Outpatients and diagnostics
Women and children’s’ centre.

Princess Royal Hospital (Telford)

Urgent Care (24/7)
Most day case surgery
Planned orthopaedic surgery
Outpatients
Diagnostics
Midwifery led unit.

Reaction

For Ludlow, we don’t whether to feel relieved or concerned.

If there has to be just one A&E site, then Shrewsbury is the best location as far as southwest Shropshire and Powys are concerned. A better option would be to keep both A&E departments but that looks near nigh impossible in the current financial climate.

Not so good for us in the south of the county is that patients booked in for day surgery will have to travel to Telford. It will be difficult for many to get to the PRH for early in the morning. We will need a fleet of community transport vehicles to ensure this works. That will need to be budgeted for. I can’t see that has even been thought about.

We need to get these decisions about major hospital services resolved quickly. And we must urgently turn our attention to how rural health services are going to be delivered in the market towns and villages. We have a workshop on that on 9 December.

Notes

[1]. The Future Fit Board plumped for Option C1. The detailed board papers are here.

One thought on “At last Future Fit publishes plans for the future of Shropshire’s main hospitals

  1. Just a word of thanks for your constant, informative communications through this blog. They are now my go-to source of information – and I live in Church stretton, where our current elected representatives rarely if ever communicate with us, and certainly never explain matters as you do.
    As far as this news is concerned, both Stretton and Ludlow will reach Telford by means of B roads that, whilst reasonable in comparison to many of Shropshire’s roads, are likely to become problematic during winter. Those of us with Range Rovers will of course be ok. So that’s all right then.
    Across this whole county we seem to be faced with a rapid decline into the victorian age or earlier. A health service free at the point of delivery is pretty useless if the point of delivery is so far away you can’t get there unless you drive for hours, expending substantial amounts on fuel and paying extortionate amounts for the car park when you get there. It’s not just the getting there in the first place; it’s the effect upon friends and family who will have to provide the emotional and psychological support to patients that nurses have no longer the time to provide. And the worst of it is that our MP, who was pretty forceful on our behalf until recently, is now apparently unable to get involved because he has been made a Minister of Health by Theresa May. When it happened, I wondered if he’d been nobbled. Now I wonder whether he is likely to consider resigning in order to speak out on behalf of his constituents. Nah, who am I kidding?

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