The recommendation by the Future Fit board is one that I am fully opposed to. It is, in my view, the wrong decision and I will continue campaigning to ensure that Telford’s needs are met.
In the time Future Fit has been running I have been actively making the case for the Princess Royal Hospital to house Shropshire’s sole Emergency Department. Since it first emerged that the favoured position of the Future Fit board was to relocate the Women and Children’s Centre to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital I have been busy scrutinising the decision and making the case for Telford.
During the Future Fit process I have met with the Health Secretary, raised questions and spoke in debates in Parliament, met with the Council and regularly met with and corresponded with NHS commissioners. At every opportunity I have set out why these units need to be in Telford.
Until recently, the noises coming from Future Fit were that the Princess Royal Hospital would house the new Emergency Department and continue to house the Women and Children’s Centre.
The arguments in the PRH’s favour are overwhelming. The PRH serves a large population, with one of the fastest growing populations in the West Midlands and one that is younger and on the whole more deprived than the communities being served by the RSH. With finite resources it is only right that that funding follows need.
Whilst this recommendation from the Future Fit board is undoubtedly disappointing it is not the end of the process. It is now more important than ever that all of us in Telford come together to ensure our voice is heard.
As Telford’s MP I will be doing all I can in Parliament to raise this issue. I am asking the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP to intervene in this process. Future Fit has had numerous shortcomings and these need addressing.