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Labour unites against hospital plans

Created on 04/06/2018 @ 12:30
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Local Labour parties in Montgomeryshire and Shropshire have rejected plans to change Accident and Emergency and medical facilities as part of the Future Fit programme.

Last week a consultation began into the plans with a preferred option of setting up a single A&E unit for Shropshire and Montgomeryshire in Shrewsbury.

A public meeting is due to take place in Newtown later this month as part of the consultation.

In an unprecedented show of unity, the Labour Parties representing all five Shropshire constituencies along with the Montgomeryshire Party in Mid Wales have issued an open letter calling on the chief executives of the two clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) behind Future Fit to withdraw their proposals and replace them with a long-term vision for local health and social care services based on the community’s needs rather than the cutting of costs.

Catriona Graham, Secretary of Shrewsbury and Atcham Labour Party, said: “Future Fit should be focused on the growing needs of our communities. Instead, it is a desperate attempt to stave off the financial crisis in our health service which is the direct consequence of Government funding cuts.
“What’s more, it’s not the end of the process but the beginning. There’ll be more cuts to come as the financial pressures mount and more and more of the services we rely on disappear, especially in rural areas.

“It beggars belief that the CCGs are pressing ahead with Future Fit when they admit that even though it will involve the sale of NHS land and private borrowing, they don’t yet know whether, how, when and at what cost their proposals can be funded. This is sheer irresponsibility.

“We have to stop Future Fit in its tracks because whichever option goes ahead, the outcome will be tragic for our NHS and for our communities. We urge local people to take part in the Future Fit consultation and join us in rejecting both options and calling for a rethink.:

Tim Finch, Secretary of Telford Labour Party, added: “We will give our all to save vital services at both our hospitals. Here in Telford, the PRH must retain its A&E and our Women & Children’s Centre. The idea that a state-of-the-art centre opened just three years ago at the cost of £28 million could now be transferred to Shrewsbury, especially when the need for it is greatest in and around Telford, just shows how absurd Future Fit is. It’s not fit for our community and it offers no future to our NHS.

“The CCGs need to go back to the drawing board and this time prepare plans which prioritise the health of our communities rather than the slashing of services to cut costs.

“And our local MPs need to come clean to their constituents: either they support their Government’s policy of starving the NHS of essential investment or they must join us in condemning Future Fit and go back to Ministers to demand fair funding for Shropshire’s health services.”

A public meeting will take place in Newtown as part of the consultation on 28 June at The Elephant and Castle between 3.30pm and 7.30pm.

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