Telford MP Lucy Allan has criticised the announcement that Future Fit will only be implemented at the by earliest by 2021.
Under plans drawn up by the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, the decision about the location for Shropshire’s sole Critical Care Unit will not be made until June 2017. A public consultation is to run from December 2016 until March 2017.
The building work necessary to bring the Critical Care Unit to the Princess Royal is estimated to take 3 years and 6 months costing £102m to complete. If this unit were to be located at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital it would take 5 years and 9 months to complete and could cost £195m.
Commenting, Lucy said: “The news that patients are likely to wait around 5 years until Shropshire’s redesigned emergency care is up and running is hugely disappointing. The process for deciding on the location of Shropshire’s new critical care unit has been tortuous. That it will have taken almost 4 years to decide where to locate the unit seems incredible.
“The Princess Royal Hospital is the the best location for this new unit. Telford, with its rapidly growing population, good transport links and with the excellent women and children’s centre already in situ, makes it the obvious choice. Given that locating the unit at the Princess Royal would cost less and take less time to complete, it’s difficult to understand why the decision is taking so long.
“The uncertainty created by this lengthy process is bad for patients and residents alike and has been a real source of concern – many people tell me they feel let down by Future Fit.”
Lucys comments come a week after Telford & Wrekin Council launched their campaign to retain 24hr A&E at the Princess Royal Hospital. The #PRH4Me campaign is organised by Telford & Wrekin Council and backed by all of its party leaders.
Councillor Overton said: “The #PRH4Me campaign is not about saving the hospital or any services, this is about building up local support from people both in the borough and the many places outside for whom the PRH is also their hospital and for us to show how valued the PRH is.
“We’ll be out and about at events and venues across the borough over the next few months, so even if you have already pledged or you need to pledge, come and say hello and why not bring your family, friends and colleagues along to pledge too!”
Councillor Andrew Eade, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Conservative Group, added: “We have always supported the continuation of services at the PRH and this time is no different. Once again we have come together to support keeping appropriate services in the borough.”
Councillor Bill Tomlinson, Leader of the Telford & Wrekin Liberal Democrat Group, said: “This is about getting people to pledge and to tell their stories in as simple a way as possible and encouraging others to so. It’s about sharing experiences of the excellent services that we all know staff at the PRH strive to provide day in, day out in our community.”