Future Fit: Councillors and MPs urged to put political differences aside to fight decision

Calls have been made for councillors and MPs in Telford and Wrekin to put aside their political differences and work together in a bid to overturn the Future Fit decision.

Health commissioners decided earlier this week that Royal Shrewsbury Hospital will become the site for the county's only emergency centre, with Princess Royal Hospital in Telford taking over responsibility for planned care.

An emergency meeting of Telford & Wrekin Council will take place on February 18 in a bid to get support for a motion to report the decision to Health Secretary Matt Hancock for review.

The Liberal Democrat and Independent groups on the council are calling for all parties and local MPs to show unity in their condemnation of the decision.

Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Bill Tomlinson said: "We are very unhappy that we are to lose these vital services and now call on all political groups and the MPs to join together as one voice.

"We must now ask the Secretary of State Matt Hancock to intervene on behalf of the people of the borough.

"It is too big an issue for one faction. We will have a stronger voice if we all join forces together.

"This is not a time for political showboating from anyone.

"Our group is fully behind any bid that keeps services at the PRH.

"Let's go forward in a united spirit of cooperation."

'Should be ashamed'

Councillor Pat McCarthy, leader of Telford & Wrekin Green Party, said Future Fit would be a disaster for the region.

He said: "The whole region is going to be deprived of an essential service.

"The two clinical commissioning groups should be ashamed of themselves.

"We need our representatives to get together now to fight against Future Fit.

"Hopefully, if they do that it will be enough leverage for the Secretary of State to halt this process."

Telford MP Lucy Allan has also written to Mr Hancock to ask him to call in the Future Fit decision for review in an effort to overturn the plan.

And Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard has backed calls for a judicial review.

Health bosses yesterday said that work on the £312m scheme could start next year.

They say the shake-up of hospital services will bring many benefits and lead to better services for patients.

The work could take up to six years to complete.

The decision was made by the joint committee of Shropshire and Telford Clinical Commissioning Groups on Tuesday.

Visit nhsfuturefit.org for more details.

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