Health Secretary on Fact Finding Visit to PRH
Lucy Allan MP for Telford, Mark Pritchard MP for the Wrekin, Cllr Nicola Lowery Borough Councillor for the Ironbridge Gorge and Cllr Andrew Eade along with SaTH, Consultants and Clinicians met with the Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock at the Princess Royal Hospital.
The Health Secretary was invited by Lucy Allan MP to a meeting to discuss the future of our hospital services and the recent decision on the future of our hospital services. The visit also provided an opportunity for the Health Secretary to meet Clinicians, staff and patients to hear their views directly.
The visit included a meeting with elected representatives and a guided tour of the hospital, including the A&E department.
During the visit the Health Secretary made clear he had come to listen to concerns about the many challenges facing the Trust and the Trust’s decision to move both emergency care and the children and women’s unit from Telford to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, 19 miles away.
During the meeting Lucy Allan told the Secretary of State that it was time for Hospital management to listen to local people and re think their flawed plans.
Lucy Allan MP said:
“The Government is planning to spend a record £312m on hospital care in Shropshire. It is a complete nonsense that the Hospital Trust is planning to use this public money to remove services from Telford, an area of health inequality and need, and to re locate services 19 miles away. Funding must follow need. We have a growing population with pockets of significant deprivation in Telford. It is time to listen to Telford people, we have been ignored too long!”
“Throughout the Future Fit process, the hospital management has failed to listen to local people or even their representatives. Now that they have finally reached a decision, Government must act and must consider the impact of these proposals on the Telford community.”
“However, before the Government can intervene, it needs documentation from the local council. Given how important this issue is to local people, I am beyond shocked that the council has still not provided this. We have heard a great deal of political noise from some senior councillors, but they must not forget they have an important job of work to do in stopping Future Fit and they need to get on with it. Why have they still not done this?”
“The Health Secretary took away some key points from this visit. I am confident that once the Council gets its act together and provides the necessary documentation, the Secretary of State will ensure this flawed project is properly reviewed by an independent panel.”
Cllr Nicola Lowery, Borough Councillor for the Ironbridge Gorge said: “Lucy Allan MP and I asked the Health Secretary to visit Telford so that we could talk to him directly on the challenges we face and to make a clear on why it is imperative that the decision taken by the Joint Committee of Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Groups to reconfigure hospital services in Shropshire is reviewed.
“As elected representatives in Telford it’s vital we strongly voice the concerns within our community and today we had an opportunity speak directly to the Minister to make the case for why our emergency care and Women’s & Children’s Unit should remain in Telford.
“From speaking with Matt Hancock Health Secretary he was unsure why he has not yet received a formal request from Telford & Wrekin Council to call the decision in for review as legislation requires this. The formal request will enable him as the Health Secretary and the Independent Reconfiguration Panel to assess the evidence submitted and make a recommendation on if the decision should be formally reviewed.
“Today we made our case clear to the Health Secretary on why this decision must be reviewed and I would like to thank him for listening to our concerns and meeting with patients to understand their views as it’s absolutely vital the Health Secretary hears directly from residents that regularly use our health care services”.
“Our community deserves the best possible healthcare services and today we made the strongest possible case to ensure this decision is reviewed as this is what our community both needs and deserves deserves”.
Cllr Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council took to twitter to say “I understand Matt Hancock is visiting SaTH today. Disappointed his refused to meet with me to discuss the many concerns at the hospital & Future Fit.
Will he now act and refuse to downgrade our A&E and Consultant Led Women and Children Unit ? “