Shropshire Star

Call for alternatives to Shrewsbury health hub plan to be explored after funding blow

A councillor has raised concerns that consultation plans for a Shrewsbury 'super GP hub' could continue for another year, despite there being no guaranteed funding yet.

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Councillor Kate Halliday

The national scheme that would have seen 'super GP hubs' created in six areas across the country, including Shrewsbury, was recently paused due to a lack of capital funding.

Now, a Shropshire councillor has raised concerns that NHS Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care Board (ICB) could continue to pursue plans for the hub, despite the lack of immediate funding.

Labour councillor Kate Halliday, a member of Shropshire Council's health and adult social care overview and scrutiny committee said: "Shropshire ICB told me that there was no money in the current spending budget for the Health and Wellbeing pilots but that they hoped that money for the hubs would be found in the 2024/25 spending review and that they would continue with the consultation for the GP hub in Shrewsbury.

"I am really concerned that this amount of money and time continues to be spent locally on a consultation and business plan when there is no money guaranteed for the pilot."

She said the issues were causing uncertainty for residents, whilst also diverting time and resources away from developing a ‘Plan B’ - finding investment for primary care buildings in Shrewsbury.

She continued: "We could spend another year chasing a promise that sounds very unlikely to come to fruition, whilst the issue of good premises for GP surgeries continues to cause problems for local services.

"The ICB should really consider halting the consultation, handing the money they received for it back to the NHS, and look at other local solutions."

The ICB has not confirmed if the consultation will still go ahead. A spokesperson for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin said: "We are working to understand the implications of the pause notified to us by NHS England. At this point, it is too early to comment further."