Shropshire MPs ask for end to Future Fit uncertainty

At today’s Health Questions Session in the House of Commons, Telford MP, Lucy Allan, and Ludlow MP, Philip Dunne, pressed the Government to end the uncertainty surrounding the future of Shropshire’s two hospitals, Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal Telford, and to commit to funding the proposed reconfiguration.

In responding to Ms Allan’s call for clarity on this issue, the Health Minister, Stephen Barclay MP, noted that additional health funding is available and that he would be happy to meet with Ms Allan to discuss the needs of Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital.

Ludlow MP, Philip Dunne, reiterated this call  in his question, and urged the Minister to “adopt the advice” of Ms Allan and ensure that “Shropshire, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust gets the Future Fit funding it needs”.

Ms Allan and Mr Dunne’s questions, and the Minister’s response, are noted in full below:

Lucy Allan MP:

In Shropshire, we’ve had 4 years of confusion around the future of our two hospitals. Will the Secretary of State tell the people of Shropshire whether there is Government funding for the proposed reconfiguration of the county’s hospitals?

Minister of State for Health, Stephen Barclay MP:

As my Hon. Friend will be aware, we’ve announced further funding within the budget in the Autumn Statement. But on the specifics, in terms of Telford, which I know the Hon. Lady has raised on a number of occasions, I am very happy to have further discussions with her.

Philip Dunne MP:

Could I congratulate my Rt. Hon. Friend for securing the £10bn capital commitment in the Budget, in the end of the last year, to spend on the NHS. And I could take advantage of my position on these benches to urge him, for the next allocation of STP funding, to adopt the advice of my Hon. Friend [the Member of Parliament for Telford] and ensure Shropshire, Shrewsbury and Telford Trust gets the Future Fit funding it needs?

Minister of State for Health, Stephen Barclay MP:

Can I first pay tribute to my Hon. Friend for the work that he did in the Department of the Health, and the very high esteem in which he was held by those working in the NHS.

In terms of Shrewsbury and Telford, I very appreciate the importance of the reconfiguration to the Trust. We do expect a decision shortly, on that, although I am not in a position to announce that today.