Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski to raise Future Fit with PM

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski will raise his concerns about delays to the proposed £320 million shake-up of Shropshire's hospital services with the Prime Minister this week.

Mr Kawczynski accused Telford & Wrekin Council of being 'medically illiterate' for holding up the county's Future Fit scheme.

At Prime Minister's Questions tomorrow, he will tell Prime Minister Theresa May that lives were being put at risk by the delay.

The plan, which would see Shropshire's emergency services centred on a new, enlarged unit at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, while Telford's Princess Royal Hospital would be developed as a centre for planned care, was approved by both Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin clinical commissioning groups in January.

But the decision was called in by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in March following representations from Telford & Wrekin Council and MP for The Wrekin Mark Pritchard.

Mr Kawczynski said he would be asking Theresa May what was the point in devolving powers to local health experts if their decisions could be over-ruled in that way.

He said the plan had been drawn up by people at the 'coalface' of providing medical services in the county, and there had been an extensive consultation process.

"We have secured £320 million to back that up," he said.


"We have backed those clinicians and provided them with the money, when everybody said it was just a pipe dream and we would never get the funds.


"Now, six years after we have asked all those clinicians for their advice, we face more delays because a medically illiterate body in Telford Council can hold a gun to our collective heads.

"The doctors and clinicians are saying that lives are being put at risk as a result of these plans not being implemented.


"We have got to decide, either we back those doctors and clinicians, or we don't."

Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said the process was 'deeply flawed'.

He said two-thirds of the 18,000 people who took part in a public consultation last year disagreed with the plans.

However, health bosses in the county say the Future Fit programme will lead to better conditions, top facilities and will make it easier to recruit the staff needed, reducing the need for agency workers.

Clinicians have also commented that separating emergency and planned care will bring other benefits, such as fewer planned operations having to be cancelled.

Last month, the Department for Health said its decision on whether or not the plan will be officially reviewed was not expected imminently.

The Independent Reconfiguration Panel has been asked to look into the case, and will make a recommendation to Mr Hancock about whether a formal review is necessary.

A statement from the department says: "The Health Secretary has agreed to further work by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel to further test the evidence before providing its final advice.”

Source: Shropshire Star | Date: 15 July 2019

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