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£300m boost to hospitals announced

Created on 28/03/2018 @ 13:51
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Patients from Newtown and Montgomeryshire are set to benefit from a £300million injection of cash into the Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Ropyal hospitals.

The NHS in England has today announced the money will be used as part of a buildings programme and it should mean 24 hour emergency services being located at both sites.

The announcement is a key milestone in the NHS Future Fit process which aims to ensure safe and sustainable hospital services for North Powys, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. 

In response to this morning’s announcement, the NHS Future Fit Programme has issued the following statement. 

“Half a million people living in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales are set to benefit from a capital funding injection of £300 million to transform their local hospital services. The money makes up the largest proportion of a £760 million investment from the Department of Health & Social Care – the single biggest capital injection of its kind in the NHS for over a decade.

“The scale of the funding means that, subject to consultation, in the future local people will receive care and treatment at two vibrant hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford. A wide range of hospital services will still be available at both existing hospital sites and importantly, stay within the county.

“In addition, the announcement is expected to have a more immediate impact, by attracting expert consultants, doctors and nurses to work for hospitals destined to undergo a transformation.

“No decisions will be made until after a formal public consultation which will ask people’s views on two options. The model has been co-designed by members of the public and over 300 clinicians, GPs and social care professionals.

“It will see one hospital becoming an Emergency Care site and the other a Planned Care site. This will allow specialist doctors to treat the most serious cases on the Emergency Care site, which is proven to be safer, provide better results for patients and reduce the amount of time people have to stay in hospital.

“By having a separate Planned Care site, patients will wait less time for their appointments and beds would be protected for planned operations, meaning that is highly unlikely operations will be cancelled due to emergency admissions.

“In addition, both sites will have an Urgent Care Centre that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that almost 80% of patients will continue to go to the same hospital as they do now for emergency and urgent care.”

Responding to the news, Newtown councillor Joy Jones, who has campaigned on health issues, said: "Fantastic news this morning. The people of Powys have waited a long time for this consultation and it is vital that we have our say.

"Back in 2011 we faced a great injustice in the ‘Keeping It In The County’ Consultation when we were not listened to. As a result we lost our Women and Children’s Services and they moved to Telford."

Cllr Jones added: "We must not let that happen again. Future Fit proposes that Shrewsbury should be the main Emergency Centre and that Women and Children’s Services should return.

"This is clearly the best solution but we must not be complacent and everyone living in Powys who relies on hospital services in Shropshire must make sure they respond to this IMPORTANT consultation. 

"This really is our LAST chance to secure the long term future of our hospital services in Shrewsbury and make sure that even more services do not move further away. 

"We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to fight for the right outcome.”

Today’s announcement clears the way for NHS England to provide its final, formal approval for the CCGs to launch the Future Fit public consultation. Once the CCGs receive this approval, they will finalise plans and announce the start date of the consultation.

The formal public consultation will ask for people’s views on two options:

Option 1: The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital becomes an Emergency Care site and the Princess Royal Hospital becomes a Planned Care site (This the CCGs’ preferred option)

Option 2: The Princess Royal Hospital becomes an Emergency Care site and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital becomes a Planned Care site.

Under either option, both hospitals would have an Urgent Care Centre that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George, said: "Reform of the secondary care system which serves Shropshire and much of Mid Wales is one of the most important issues of our generation and I'm therefore delighted that the UK Government have announced an investment of £312 million for the construction of a new Emergency Centre.
"It will now be essential for Montgomeryshire’s views to be heard loud and clear over the more populated area of Telford in the forthcoming consultation on the preferred option for the future of NHS care in our area. 
"Your response to the "Future Fit" consultation will have an influence on the final decision which is made so I would like to encourage everyone to take part in this important consultation so that we can see diggers in the ground as soon as possible.
"For many years, I have argued that services must be retained and strengthened in Shrewsbury which is a centrally located to serve the healthcare needs of the wider region and those of us here in Montgomeryshire who access health services from across the border. Today's decision means that we are one step closer to making this a reality."

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