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Hospital plans questioned

Created on 24/08/2018 @ 11:58
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Plans for the "Future Fit" hospital services in Shropshire that will affect patients from Newtown and north Powys have again been questioned by the Montgomeryshire branch of the Labour Party.

It, along with five other branches in Shropshire, have said the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have admitted the proposal and consultation currently underway into the plans have not taken into consideration the implications on ambulance services and patient public transport.

The six local Labour Parties of Shropshire and Mid Wales have challenged the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to justify the launch of their “ill-conceived and premature” Future Fit proposals and the public consultation.

In a letter to the chief officers of the two CCGs, the political constituency parties quote their response to the twenty questions it put to them earlier this summer.

"In their reply, the CCGs concede that essential details about the capacity of the Ambulance Services to cope with Future Fit, the implications for patients and visitors dependant on public transport, the running of the Urgent Care Centres which will replace A&E departments and the financing of the scheme and its cost to the NHS are all currently unknown," said a statement.

The letter asks:

“In the absence of such crucial information, how is it reasonable, responsible or safe for the CCGs to have agreed their current proposals for Future Fit?”

“How in all conscience do you justify launching a consultation exercise when vital information on which the public ought to be able to form a judgment will only be available after the consultation has closed?”

Peter Bradley, chair of The Wrekin Constituency Labour Party and former MP for The Wrekin, who represents the six groups said: “We know from our own consultation throughout Shropshire and Mid Wales that two of the most important issues for local people are where, how quickly and how expertly they can be treated in an emergency and how patients and their families can get to hospital by public transport for routine treatments or to visit loved ones.  

“It’s frankly astonishing that these are the very issues on which the CCGs have least to say.  Nor can they tell us how Future Fit will be funded and how much the local NHS will have to pay back each year to private lenders. In every case they’ve admitted that this information will only be available after the consultation has closed. That’s simply not good enough.

“It’s clearer than ever that Future Fit is ill-conceived and premature. It’s vital that the CCGs go back to the drawing board and design a scheme which genuinely meets the community’s long-term needs. It’s equally urgent that local MPs work together to lobby the Government for the fair funding necessary to implement it.”

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