Shropshire Star

Major step forward in Future Fit hospital shakeup as outline business case is approved

Plans for the major £312m re-organisation of the county's emergency hospitals have taken a significant step forward.

Last updated
The decision is the latest step forward in plans for the reorganisation of the county's emergency hospital services

The Outline Business Case (OBC) for the 'Future Fit' transformation of hospital services across The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has been formally approved in the latest and penultimate stage of national approval.

The much-delayed plans will see Princess Royal Hospital in Telford specialising in planned care and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital focussing on emergency care.

Following approval of the OBC SaTH is now preparing its Full Business Case (FBC) – the final stage in the process.

SaTH said funding has also been released to start enabling works for the transformation and to support the completion of the FBC.

The trust said it will also continue its ongoing investment programme at both hospitals and the further development of community-based services to reduce waiting times and improve patient experience.

Meanwhile the trust said it welcomes a conclusion from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) that “subject to the recommendations in the report the Hospitals Transformation Programme is the best way forward to improve acute hospital services for the whole population served in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Mid Wales”.

Louise Barnett, chief executive of SaTH, said: “This is positive news for our local communities and colleagues, bringing us another step closer to delivering sustainable, high quality health care for everyone through two thriving hospitals.

“We are focusing now on progressing the enabling works and preparing the Full Business Case for approval which is the final step in the process. We value the feedback from our communities and teams as we take this critical programme forward and I would encourage members of the public to participate in our series of focus groups and engagement events.”

Dr Ed Rysdale, clinical lead for the Hospitals Transformation Programme, said: “This new model of care is designed, led and supported by clinicians, and will see patients benefit from fewer cancellations and delays for planned procedures. Emergency care will be more effective and streamlined, with fewer ambulance handover delays, and will be delivered from a dedicated, state-of-the-art Emergency Department.

“We will continue to engage and work closely with our local communities, patients and colleagues every step of this journey to improve the experience for all our communities.”

Dr Nicholas White, chief medical officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “We welcome the news that the Outline Business Case for the transformation of hospital services in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin has been approved. This is a major milestone in our plans to transform acute hospital services and improve health and care for our communities across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and mid Wales.

“Through our Local Care Transformation Programme, we are striving to improve our community-based services so residents can have better access to a broader range of services in their local communities and at home. Together, these two major transformation programmes will ensure our communities can access high quality care, in the right place, at the right time, to help them live healthier, happier and more rewarding lives.”