Dunne welcomes Future Fit decision

South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has welcomed the decision last night by NHS leaders to proceed with major improvement to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

The decision allows for £312m of capital investment, announced by the government last year, to proceed. This will mean acute care will be focussed at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, with planned care at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

Mr Dunne highlighted confirmation by NHS leaders that a decision to proceed, alongside news of significant capital investment, was already improving the issues surrounding recruitment of senior consultants that the NHS in Shropshire had experienced in the recent years.

Mr Dunne said: “The historic decision taken yesterday by Shropshire NHS commissioning groups now allows for the largest ever capital investment in the Shropshire healthcare to proceed – which is welcome news for both patients and those working in the NHS locally.

I regret some political parties are seeking to politicise this decision, and are even campaigning to strike down this biggest investment in healthcare facilities Shropshire has ever seen.

I and other Shropshire MPs met local NHS leaders on Friday, who made abundantly clear further material delay to this project would risk clinicians moving elsewhere and exacerbate recruitment and retention problems, ultimately hindering delivery of the best possible care.

Instead, we have seen that even the news of record capital investment has encouraged more clinicians to come and work in Shropshire – with 24 new consultants joining the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust in 2018, double the normal recruitment of this senior level of clinicians. So it is important we proceed.

I have been reassured by clinicians and NHS leaders, including the Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service whom I met last Friday, that conveying patients by ambulance to an improved A&E department at RSH will not increase patient risk. Those of my constituents who live near Telford will still be able to be treated at the Urgent Care Centre for conditions that do not need a blue light ambulance.”