Council position on Hospitals Transformation Programme
The Conservative administration at Shropshire Council has welcomed the news that the Department of Health and Social Care has approved the strategic business case submitted by Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) to configure the area’s acute hospital services.
This is an important step forward for something that has been many years in planning and discussion, that will allow plans to redevelop services at the area’s two main hospitals that serve Shropshire, the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, to finally progress.
It can also bring very badly needed investment into the whole of the area’s health care system to start to tackle a range of challenges in both primary and secondary care.
Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:-
“The Hospitals Transformation Programme is not a magic wand that will solve all the challenges our health and social care sectors face. But it is a vital step forward that will stabilise, invest in and start then to transform a health system that is now under severe strain and cannot continue on as it has.
“It is key we do not lose the £312 million investment set aside for our hospital services that, if the delays witnessed over the last decade continue, we risk doing so.
“While there has been so much focus on A&E services, the reality is that it is changes in other areas where the most benefits can be brought.
“This will touch many more people than those who use A&E, while a 24/7 A&E service will remain on both hospital sites.
“Moving planned care to Princess Royal Hospital, for example, will see many people in Shropshire needing to travel further for this, but I believe this is a small price to pay if it means far fewer cancelled appointments and delays in operations and better cancer care.
“Equally, a dedicated emergency department for the ICS area will play a key part in reducing ambulance waiting times in Shropshire – an issue that this council and the people of Shropshire are rightly very concerned about.
“There will also be significant benefits that can trickle down to primary care such as at GP surgeries, again a pressure point very keenly felt by people in Shropshire, and our partners’ work to prevent people going to hospital in the first place by providing even more effective community health and care services.
“It can also help provide the certainty so badly needed by the whole ICS to attract the talent needed to work here and make our health care system more sustainable.
“The creation of the ICS this summer provides us with a new opportunity to work together to progress this much needed investment and improve health and wellbeing outcomes and reduce health inequalities for the people of Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin.
“With inflation hitting the construction sector hard, longer delays simply means more costs, which makes it even more imperative that the ICS Hospitals Transformation Programme must move ahead and at pace. Further delays will simply be harmful to everyone’s health.”