Update on Shropshire Future Fit

**Originally published in the Shropshire Star 15/06/2017**

This week I have called an emergency meeting with the Chief Executive of our Hospital Trust and the local Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to discuss my concerns and those of my constituents over the massive gridlock and delay that Future Fit has suffered as a result of Telford Council refusing to respect the medically driven recommendations from 300 local doctors, surgeons and clinicians.These professionals have come up with very bold, innovative and medically driven proposals designed to safeguard and protect patient safety and to improve the care of patients not just today but for future generations.

Let us all remember that these two hospitals serve the whole county of Shropshire and Mid Wales a vast geographical area with significant population growth. My greatest concern is that despite these two hospitals being almost cheek by jowl, just a mere eleven miles apart from one another, Telford Council - a body with no medical experience or expertise - is able to block these proposals.  I am in discussions now with NHS England regional executives to ask them what legal action they are able to take against Telford Council and Telford CCG to break this impasse.  We have been told that unless these changes take place lives will be put at risk.  I for one want to do everything possible to ensure we do not allow Telford Council to hold a gun to this whole process as the safety of local patients must always be at the forefront of all of our minds.  The Chief Executive of the Hospital has worked incredibly hard to secure the capital funding for these changes which would be over £300m, a massive injection of cash into our local hospital which would completely transform and protect services going forward.

I am confident that NHS England share my concerns about the conduct and behaviour of Telford Council and Telford CCG. I look forward to working with them over the coming weeks and months to do everything possible to break this deadlock and to ensure that Future Fit proposals to safeguard are services are implemented as quickly as possible.

I would urge your readers to really engage with the Future Fit process http://nhsfuturefit.org/so that they can see for themselves what is being proposed and how Telford Council are trying to block it. Only by being aware of the seriousness of the issue and the conduct of Telford Council will your readers be able to take the time and effort themselves to challenge the conduct of this body.