Future Fit: Health boss 'disappointed' consultation is delayed
A health boss has said it is “disappointing” that a consultation on the future of accident and emergency services in the county has been delayed.
Consultations were meant to start on the Future Fit programme this month.
But now it looks likely to not start until the New Year, as NHS England wants to know that the funding is available.
The plans include a preferred option of having one emergency centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, along with women and children’s services, with urgent care centres at both The Princess Royal and Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals.
The urgent care centre would see about 80 per cent of those who currently use accident and emergency.
Planned surgery would be centred on the Princess Royal.
Debbie Vogler, programme director for Future Fit, spoke at Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) governing board meeting this week.
She said: “Since the last meeting we’ve met with NHS England.
“As far as the CCG is concerned we’ve submitted everything that’s expected of us.
“We’ve progressed to the preferred option and we’re looking to go out to consultation soon.
“What’s outstanding is we need confirmation that capital could be made available for the scheme and we’ve not yet got that.
“It’s not possible to consider going out to consultation before Christmas.
“It will be going out in the New Year.
“It’s a conversation between SaTH, NHSi and the treasury.”
Shropshire CCG chairman, Julian Povey, said it was “disappointing” that Future Fit was being held back until the capital could be made available and even more so that they had no idea when that would be.
He added: “Is it going to be January, is it going to be February, or is it going to be spring; we’re not being given any information.”
Mrs Vogler said: “We are ready to proceed to consultation.
“We are preparing background documents, we’re busy working so that we can press ahead in January.”