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.

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Neighbourhood health and wellbeing workshop: Ludlow 9 December 2016

Local and county health services are changing. Most readers of this blog will know of Future Fit, the programme to transform health services across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. In recent weeks, we have been engaged with the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) and its implications for the county and Ludlow. I’ll write more on the problems with the STP in coming days and weeks.

On 9 December, Shropshire Together will be holding a workshop on one element of the STP. How do we deliver community based health services? Please come along to learn more about this part of the STP, to share your experiences and make your views known. Details of how to book are at the end of this post.

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Fiasco drowns NHS Future Fit project: “Future Fit has been a perfect storm of bad events”

Today, the Future Fit project to reorganise health services in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin stumbled to the edge of collapse. The two Clinical Commissioning Groups involved in the project have said David Evans has left his key role with immediate effect.

Tracey Huffer says:

“This is a real shocker. Future Fit has been in chaos almost from the outset. We have spent three years and many millions of pounds getting precisely nowhere.

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Shropshire’s single A&E planned to be at Shrewsbury, says Defend Our NHS

For once I find myself in agreement with Lucy MP, MP for Telford and Wrekin, when she told BBC Radio Shropshire this evening that the Future Fit programme has been an “extraordinary saga.” The latest twist in this tortuous process is a leaked report on the first stage decision on the closure of one of our county’s A&Es.

BBC Radio Shropshire and the Shropshire Star reported this morning that Shropshire and Telford Clinical Commissioning Groups favour a single A&E at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. The Women and Children’s Centre at the Princes Royal Hospital will move back to Shrewsbury. This department opened just two years ago at a cost of £28 million. Planned treatment and surgery will be carried out at Telford.

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Welcome news as health minister Philip Dunne says Ludlow Community Hospital “will remain a hospital"

Last night, our local MP Philip Dunne, who is the new Health Minister, gave a categorical assurance that Ludlow Hospital will not close. He told a crowded meeting of the hospital League of Friends that the hospital “is going to remain a hospital”.

Speaking after Philip, David Evans from the Clinical Commissioning Group confirmed that closure is not an option:

“Ludlow is not under threat of closure. Let me be absolutely clear about that.”

David thought there could be more services offered from Ludlow Hospital and for it to become a health and wellbeing centre, as well as a community hospital. But he also made it clear that, in his personal view, we might lose the midwifery-led unit.

The news that the hospital looks set to survive is very welcome. But although we have a political and policy commitment to keep Ludlow Hospital but I am not yet convinced the story stacks up. We had that level of political commitment with the ill-fated Eco Park hospital project.

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