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Future Fit: Further calls made for review over Shropshire A&E decision

By Lisa O'Brien | Health | Published:

Further calls have been made for Health Secretary Matt Hancock to review the decision on hospital services in Shropshire.

Councillor Nicola Lowery

Councillor Nicola Lowery, chairwoman of the Telford Conservative Association and borough councillor for the Ironbridge Gorge, has written to Mr Hancock requesting his invention to review the decision on Future Fit.

The decision for Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to host the county's only emergency centre was made by the joint committee of Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Telford MP Lucy Allan and Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies have both already written to the Health Secretary to ask for the outcome to be reviewed.

In her letter to Mr Hancock, Councillor Lowery said: “I believe there is substantial evidence to support why this decision would not be in the interests of the health service in our area and I am aware of the regulations that require a local authority to make a formal recommendation to the commissioner on the matter and the evidence required to support a referral.

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"An emergency general meeting has been arranged by Telford & Wrekin Council on the 18th February to formally report this decision to you as the Secretary of State to review the decision made by the joint committee in accordance with the powers contained within the Local Authority Regulations 2013.

"However, I do feel it would be extremely beneficial for you to visit Telford to enable us to discuss our concerns in more detail and for you to hear directly from those affected by this proposal, which will have a significant impact on healthcare provision in Shropshire."

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Details

Councillor Lowery also provided further details on the referral process to the Secretary of State.

She said: “A local authority may report to the Secretary of State in writing where the authority is not satisfied with the adequacy of content or time allowed for consultation with itself, it has not been consulted, and it is not satisfied that the reasons given for not carrying out consultation are adequate or it considers that the proposal would not be in the interests of the health service in its area.

“In terms of the process, the Secretary of State for Health receives the referral and passes it to IRP (Independent Reconfiguration Panel), which is appointed to review each case and advise the Secretary of State.

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"The IRP process has two stages: initial assessment, and full review.

"It is therefore imperative that we specially outline and substantiate why we do not feel that the decision and proposal by Future Fit is in the interests of the health service in our area to ensure that this is decision is formally reviewed.

"I have written to the Secretary of State inviting him to meet with us in Telford as has our MP Lucy Allan, as this will provide an opportunity to expand on our concerns regarding this decision and the views of residents we are elected to represent within our community."

The decision, which was made last Tuesday, means Telford's Princess Royal Hospital will take over responsibility for planned care in the future, and both hospitals will have an urgent care centre.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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