'Let's build a new Shropshire hospital': Telford council leader's call to county rival
Telford's council leader has urged his political rival counterpart at Shropshire Council to unite with him to push for a new super hospital to be built between Telford and Shrewsbury.
Councillor Shaun Davies was responding after Councillor Peter Nutting, the Conservative leader of Shropshire Council, said huge increases to the costs of Future Fit – the plan to reorganise Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Princess Royal Hospital Telford (PRH) – meant that other options should be considered to ensure public money was spent in the best way.
Councillor Davies, the Labour leader of neighbouring Telford & Wrekin Council, which wants Future Fit scrapped, reacted to the comments by saying he is in favour of a "super hospital" to be "centrally located between Telford and Shrewsbury" and that they should unite to lobby for the project to go ahead.
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Their comments come after it was revealed that the costs of the Future Fit plan have gone up from £312m to almost £500m.
Councillor Nutting also suggested that any new hospital could be built off Preston Boats Island on the A5, along with a parkway railway station.
Councillor Davies said: "The cost of a £500m Future Fit program is a cost we can’t afford, the last estimate of a single site hospital fairly and centrally located between Telford and Shrewsbury is the fair, compromise and economically viable option.
"I’ve long advocated this, we should now lobby the government for the funding to make this a reality and to sort this once and for all."
He added: "One super hospital is what we need. It could be called the Prince George Hospital! Settling the issue for generations to come.
"I stand ready to lobby with MPs and Peter Nutting to get this hospital built."
The idea of a new hospital has previously been rejected, with the current Future Fit plan set to base full A&E services at RSH, along with consultant-led women and children’s services, while PRH would become a centre for planned care.
But earlier this month, Telford MP Lucy Allan, who has opposed Future Fit, also opened the door on the idea of an entirely new hospital to cover both towns.
She said: “If we’re going to spend £500m-plus on hospital care in Shropshire, it’s time to rethink options, including new standalone critical care hospital on M54.”
The proposal has previously been backed by former PRH chief executive David Sandbach, and Dr Laura Davies, the former Labour candidate for Shrewsbury and Atcham, who was removed from her post over her support for the plan.