Today, local MP Lucy Allan was written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP to ask him to call in for review the controversial Future Fit decision.
This comes after Telford & Wrekin council have formally asked the Health Secretary to order a review of the decision. The formal referral was submitted by the council in the form of a legal argument containing 61 pages.
The Future Fit proposals, which were approved by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin clinical commissioning groups in January, would see Telford's Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) lose its A&E and consultant-led women and children's services. Both would be based at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, while PRH would become a centre for planned care.
In her letter to the Health Secretary, Ms Allan argued that the submission gave reasons for a review as the Future Fit decision is not in the best interests of health services in the area.
Ms Allan went on to say that Telford is an area of health inequality with pockets of significant deprivation and that to re locate services 19 miles away does not meet the health needs of the most vulnerable in the local area. Ms Allan was also able to make this point in a Westminster Hall debate this week in parliament on health inequalities.
The formal referral means the Secretary of State will now have to decide whether to order an independent review into the decision. The review could recommend changes to the decision, potentially cancelling Future Fit or confirm proceeding as planned.
Lucy Allan said:
“I am pleased that the council have finally formally referred this decision to the Secretary of State for review.
“I have raised this issue on many occasions with the Health Secretary and I know that he will look very carefully whether to refer Future Fit to an independent Reconfiguration panel.
“The CCGs voted in favour of this option, despite the opposition of the majority of people who took part in the consultation and opposition of local politicians. I will continue to make the case that Future Fit does not meet the health needs of people in Telford.”
You can read Lucy Allan's speech here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-03-20/debates/EF65FDA3-9BCF-4D12-825B-41D0E46A8181/HealthInequalities#contribution-DE4618DC-DCD1-4756-800F-21F38668943B