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Health bosses to meet about hospitals' future

Created on 08/08/2017 @ 10:05
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A decision to go to public consultation on the future of health services at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal at Telford is likely to be made on Thursday.

The Future Fit plans will have a direct impact on patients from Newtown and north Powys who are sent to Shrewsbury and Telford for a range of medical and emergency services.

However, plans to possibly move A&E to Telford along with other services have been left hanging in air after health specialists and trust officials failed to make decisions on several key recommendations.

Now, a meeting will be held on Thursday where a decision as to whether to go to public consultation on four recommendations will be made.

The Future Fit Programme Board agreed that there has been no material evidence presented in the Independent review of the Option Appraisal or in the Women &Children’s IIA Reports that should change the original four recommendations to the Joint Committee as set out in December 2016 and therefore they should be reaffirmed.

This included a recommendation with regard to a preferred option to go to public consultation on the proposed changes to hospital services.

The recommendation will be considered on Thursday, August 10 by the Joint Committee, at 6pm at Clayton Hall, Shrewsbury College, London Road, Shrewsbury.

The Joint Committee is formed of board members from the two CCGs, two independent clinical panel members who are senior hospital consultants, and an independent chair (see below for more details on the independent chair and panel members). All with be voting members of the Joint Committee.

Following the Joint Committee, and in line with best practice, assurance will be sought from local scrutiny boards and the NHS England assurance processes prior to going to public consultation. .

The Future Fit proposal is to change the services provided at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford. This will mean:

One of our hospitals becomes a specialist site for planned care. Adults requiring routine surgery including day case and short stay (excluding complex surgery) or procedure (eg routine endoscopies) will go to the planned care site

The other hospital becomes a specialist site for emergency care. Patients with potential life or limb-threatening injuries or illnesses, such as a stroke, heart attack or severe blood loss, would be treated at the Emergency Care site. They would be taken there directly by paramedics in an ambulance or transferred immediately from one of our two new urgent care centres

Both of our hospitals will have a new urgent care centre providing care 24 hours a day, every day of the year for illnesses and injuries that are not life or limb-threatening but require urgent attention.

Women and children’s services would also be available at both sites:
Midwife-led unit, including low-risk births and postnatal care

Maternity outpatients including antenatal appointments and scanning

Gynaecology outpatient appointments

Early Pregnancy Assessment Service (EPAS)

Antenatal Day Assessment

Children’s outpatient appointments

Neonatal outpatient appointments.

When a formal public consultation is launched, the CCGs will ask local people their views on which hospital would become the Emergency Care site and which hospital would become the Planned Care site.

David Evans, Chief Officer for Telford and Wrekin CCG and Simon Freeman Accountable Officer for Shropshire CCG, said: “With any transformation of this scale we recognise that there will be different opinions across stakeholders.

“As local health leaders we are committed to ensuring our decisions are clinically led and that any public consultation will be open and fair.

“It is disappointing to hear speculation that the CCGs’ decisions are predetermined, as this is wholly unfounded. The public is aware of the open challenge and scrutiny our decisions have gone through over the last four years.

“The Programme Board reviewed an independent report on the process undertaken so far and an impact assessment on the women and children’s services, before reviewing their recommendation made in November 2016.

“The Programme Board determined that there was nothing in the reports that materially changed their decision and therefore is making a recommendation to the Joint Committee to progress to public consultation on all clinically and financially viable options. This includes a preferred option of the Emergency Care site at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Planned Care site at the Princess Royal Hospital.”

Health leaders are also offering reassurance that under the proposals women and children would still receive the majority of care and treatment in the same place as they do now.

It is vital that women and children’s high risk services (when women and children need to stay in hospital overnight or need specialist care) are based alongside the Emergency Care site.

David Evans and Simon Freeman added: “We recognise the proposed changes will mean that some people may have to travel further for their treatment. However, most people attend our hospitals for outpatient appointments. Under our proposal, the majority of these appointments will continue to take place where they do now.

“Any final decision on the future of hospital services will not be made by the CCGs until after the views from the public consultation are reviewed. We recognise it will be a difficult decision for all involved, however our priority is to do what is best for people across the whole of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and mid Wales.”

The meeting on the 10 August will be held in public. Further details and the independent assurance reports will be published as part of the papers for the Joint Committee.  

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