NHS money overdue and welcome but should not be used as an excuse to reduce rural services

Shropshire has been awarded more than £300 million in capital funding by the Department of Health to modernise its services.

Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East and a Ludlow nurse, welcomed the news.

“This is great news and so overdue. It will allow the county’s NHS services to be modernised. But this money should not be used as an excuse to centralise services in Shrewsbury and Telford at the expense of rural services and community hospitals.

“We must remember that this is capital funding. The assumption behind the grant is that modernisation of buildings and services will reduce day-to-day costs. That money can then be used to fund services in the community. But although the funding will lead to savings, the costs of health service provision are going up rapidly. The danger is that all the savings will be absorbed in Shrewsbury and Telford leaving a pittance for rural communities in Ludlow and the south of Shropshire.

“This money is to be celebrated. But we still need to address the underlying problem that Shropshire has one of the lowest health care spends per person in the country.”

2 thoughts on “NHS money overdue and welcome but should not be used as an excuse to reduce rural services

  1. Thanks Andy for your usual excellent update.
    Watched local news and already they say the £300 million will be spent on modernising services in Shrewsbury and Telford, so much for consultation…
    Are we invisible in South Shropshire ?

  2. NOT IN THE B’gnth Journal …
    Sir,
    Philip Dunne’s lengthy pitch for the introduction of Future Fit proposals as the way forward for future health services in Shrewsbury, Telford and Mid Wales, made only two references to what we all know has undermined the provision of an effective health service – the lack of funding – and the reality of an ageing population, which many of us have been aware of for decades.
    He refers to the proposal to build a new hospital between Shrewsbury and Telford which “proved to be prohibitively expensive”, but was that from another expensive PFI costing? Similarly, he believes that the £320 million “investment” to introduce “the preferred” Future Fit will “secure high quality sustainable acute health services” in Shropshire. But how does the £320m compare with NHS’s own costing?
    Some years back I pointed out to Philip that, as a student in the early 60’s, I heard a BBC discussion which confirmed that in the second decade of the 21st C, the population would require good age-related health services as “end-of-war” children reached their 70’s. He said he was not aware of that discussion (hardly surprising: he was only 5 in 1963) while my point was that our national politicians had those facts some 50 years in advance of today … and all have ignored them.
    We are now in the 2nd decade of the 21st C, and the lead political party in government for 18 years, the Cons, has not yet confronted the reality of our current social situation. Philip admits that “we have seen the consequences of indecision over the years”. We have not only “seen” those consequences. Many have suffered because of them, plus too many having died.
    We need truth based on facts. All of us, no matter what our age, want our lives back.
    Malcolm MacINTYRE-READ
    BA Hons – FRSA – Churchill Fellow
    TaxPAYER

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