Shropshire Star

Call for MP to nail colours to the mast in Shrewsbury health hub row

A civic leader has called on an MP to nail his colours to the mast over controversial plans to merge six GP surgeries into a health hub.

Lib Dem councillor Alex Wagner speaking at a Shrewsbury health hub protest

NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) want to amalgamate six doctors practices into a new Shrewsbury Health and Wellbeing Hub in Meole Brace.

The plans have been met with concerns from local residents and councillors, who are worried about transport difficulties, doctor/patient relationships and staffing.

There have been a number of protests in Shrewsbury, however the ICS insist the move would represent a significant investment in GP services in the town, and doing nothing is not a option.

Bowbrook's Lib Dem councillor Alex Wagner has written to the town's Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski, asking him where he stands.

Councillor Wagner wrote: "These proposals, which I am sure you are well aware of, have caused great worry for thousands of residents across Shrewsbury. Nearly 3,000 residents have signed a petition requesting consultation and promises to stop cuts to services, and hundreds have attended demonstrations.

"Despite this enormous local worry and interest, the health authority appear to be progressing plans quickly.

"Several leading health experts with backgrounds in the Shropshire NHS and GP surgeries spoke passionately last Sunday, August 7, at a demonstration asking for proper consultation on the hub proposals. One of the messages from those demonstrations was very simple - if GP services are moved to an inaccessible location such as on Oteley Road, thousands will struggle to receive care.

"As the Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury and Atcham, I know a lot of constituents are looking to you for input on this matter. Whatever your view on this may be, one matter I hope we can agree on is that patients deserve to be included in this process. The only way to meaningfully achieve that is to review proposals subject to adequate engagement and consultation, as required by law and government guidance. Please support the call of thousands of Shrewsbury patients and support their right to have a say on their GP services."

Mr Kawczynski said: "I have asked for a meeting with senior NHS chiefs to discuss the proposed benefits of the development. It's important we understand what investment into Shrewsbury will be involved and what additional benefits to patients are envisaged as a result of these proposals."

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