Future fit: MP calls for inquiry into delays to Shropshire hospitals shake-up

An MP has called for a parliamentary investigation into delays to the proposed £312 million shake-up of hospital services in Shropshire.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Daniel Kawczynski has written to Jeremy Hunt, chairman of the health and social-care select committee, asking for the committee to examine the progress being made on the Future Fit programme.

The scheme, which would see A&E services focused on Royal Shrewsbury, and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital specialise in planned care, has been met with fierce opposition in the Telford area.

But Mr Kawczynski said lives were being put at risk by continued delays to the scheme.

In a letter to Mr Hunt, the former health secretary, Mr Kawczynski said the scheme suffered 'extraordinary problems' because the former separate clinical commissioning groups for Telford and the rest of Shropshire could not agree on the location of the emergency and planned care centres.

He said that while this had been solved following the merger of the two groups, and the plans being approved at both national and local level, the resulting delays have led to significant increases in the cost of delivering the project, and work has still to begin.

Daniel Kawczynski

"I respectfully request that the health and social-care select committee investigates the progress being made to ensure that the project remains on track to commence in 2022," said Mr Kawczynski.

"Any further delay will inevitably mean that costs will continue to rise and even more money from the public purse will have to be found if we are to see the plan come to fruition."

Future Fit was launched in 2013 as a review of hospital services in the county, to ensure they would be able to meet future needs.

In November 2016 the Future Fit board announced its preferred option would be to create a single, enlarged A & E unit at Shrewsbury, and to turn the Telford Hospital into a centre for planned care.

Telford & Wrekin Council, Telford MP Lucy Allan, and Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, have all called for A & E services to be retained at Princess Royal, while campaigner Gill George called for Future Fit to be dropped completely.

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