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More concern over "future fit" shambles

Created on 14/12/2016 @ 08:52
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A Newtown health campaigner and councillor says the latest decision over Shropshire and Telford health plans that will affect Newtown patients is "desperately serious."

On Monday night plans recommended for health service changes in Shropshire and Telford that included the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, were sent back to the Future Fit group for more consideration, despite a recommendation that they were accepted.

The plans included emergency and other services that would impact on the delivery of health services to patients in Montgomeryshire, including Newtown.

Cllr Joy Jones slammed the decision. It follows what Glyn Davies MP called a "shambles."

"After three years of attending meetings, consultations and workshops about how to take the Acute Services forward and making sure Montgomeryshire had a voice and that the views of residents from our area, were put forward along with making sure Mid Wales was part of the whole picture, as they looked at the various options for the future and reconfiguration of hospital services.

"But after this meeting I can only feel complete and utter disappointment in the whole ordeal, as the board rejected the preferred recommendation by the future fit board that would have then gone out to public consultation and once again it has been sent back to the future fit board for more work to be done on it.

"All I can say is here we go again round and round but never getting anywhere. The situation would be funny if it wasn't so desperately serious with a shortage of consultants and our two A&E's heading for a crisis. They are sitting on a knife edge and choosing to delay the decision could tip the balance in an already over stretched health authority which could leave to many services being at risk.

"It is hard to see how there can ever be a decision reached through the this process as there are six member from both Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire CCG's and both understandably have their own best interest for the district they represent.

Cllr Jones added: "We heard many many times throughout the meeting how it should remain in Telford or that there should be two A&E's one in Telford and one in Shrewsbury and in an ideal world I would completely agree. I am sure we would all like an A&E in our own town. None of us wants to live more than 10 minutes from one if we have an emergency.

"But A&Es can't exist in every town. Doctors and specialist staff need to work together in hospitals that can provide safe and life-saving care 24 hours a day; they need to see enough patients with complex illnesses and injuries to keep their life-saving skills at the highest possible level; those hospitals need to offer attractive jobs that make new staff want to come and work there ... and the health service does have to live within its means. This needs to be done in a way that is both safe, efficient and accessible to all.

"It feels very irresponsible of the Shropshire and Telford Joint Committee to reject the preferred recommendation to be put out for public consultation so they can get more information when they were told that all the information would be made available.

"So again we wait to hear when it will be reconsidered but my concern is they are allowing the services to become more and more unstable with the ever shortage of consultants leaving it on the edge of collapse. It is time that the public consultation is started to allow the public, the people who use the services, to decide the outcome."

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