There are two important meetings this week where ‘Future Fit’ plans for cuts and closure will be progressed – but one of them is going to be in a different place! Wednesday’s Board meeting of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group will now be at Shire Hall, Abbey Foregate – NOT at William Farr House, Mytton Oak Road.
The meetings are therefore:
- Telford and Wrekin CCG: Tuesday 12th April at 1.30 pm, Park Lane Centre, Woodside, Telford, TF7 5QZ
- Shropshire CCG: Wednesday 13th April at 9.00 am, The Shrewsbury Room, The Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 6ND
In a genuinely extraordinary development, the CCGs (the decision makers in the local NHS) are admitting the desperate squeeze on cash, they’re worried about how Future Fit can be delivered, they’ve realised the need to assess the impact on ambulance services, they seem to have at least some suspicion that the modelling work behind Future Fit is nonsensical, and they’re starting to question the ‘efficiency assumptions’ in Future Fit (the jolly pretence that thousands of people will miraculously stop getting ill and won’t need any money spent on them). The language is polite, but the content says ‘Oh dear, we’ve suddenly realised this isn’t going to work’.
It would make more sense if they stopped flogging the ‘Future Fit’ dead horse and worked with the public and GPs on a Plan B – but nevertheless this is real progress. We now have to redouble our efforts to convince them of the evidence-based case that closing an A&E and downgrading a hospital, particularly in a largely rural area like our own, is the wrong way forward. There’s a simple logic behind this: A&E closure leads to people dying unnecessarily. That’s not what the NHS should be about.
Come to the meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday if you can.