Shropshire Star

Hospital trust hoping for 'rapid' move to Future Fit next stage

The county’s main health trust hopes Future Fit can move on to its next stage “rapidly”, a report says.

The report will be discussed at a meeting of Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust's board later this week.

Interim deputy chief executive Chris Preston says the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) is “working closely to with regulatory colleagues” to ensure the review and approval process for the strategic outline case (SOC) is “as short as possible”.

The document – which outlines how the hospital reconfiguration would be delivered – was submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement last month.

Writing for the SaTH board, Mr Preston writes that the SOC seeks approval “to proceed with the accelerated delivery option that will involve a rapid approval process and early access to a proportion of the capital funding”.

The controversial project, now known as the “Hospital Transformation Programme”, would see emergency medicine moving to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, with Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital focussing on planned care. It was subject to a consultation in 2018.

In his report, Mr Preston stresses that both hospitals will continue to provide round-the-clock urgent care but says “the current clinical service configuration does not meet the needs of patients”.

Present problems include “two inadequately-sized emergency departments”, “split-site delivery of key clinical services” and “insufficient physical capacity, particularly impacting planned care services”, he writes.

“The new clinical service model will ensure most people will continue to receive their care at their local site and that all our communities will benefit from improvements to the quality of care provided,” Mr Preston says.

He adds that the SOC is backed by letters for support from the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group governing body and the county’s Integrated Care System and “remains fully aligned with the configuration confirmed through the Future Fit consultation”, which was ratified by then Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP.

“When it has been approved, a summary of the content will be made available in line with national protocols,” Mr Preston says.

“The trust is working closely with regulatory colleagues to ensure the review process is as short as possible.”

The trust’s board will meet on Thursday, November 11.

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