The Future Fit consultation is a sham. They are attempting to get people from Shropshire, Telford and Powys to choose between two options, both of which will mean worse healthcare for everyone – fewer nurses and fewer medical beds in our hospitals, longer waits for ambulances everywhere, and cuts to our community health services.
Whatever some politicians and health bosses are saying, it is not a done deal. Just a couple of weeks ago the Secretary of State halted the plan to close the A&E in Huddersfield, forcing people to travel to one further away (9 miles, not the 18 we are threatened with). They won this victory because of united campaign that didn’t say “close their’s, not our’s”. And they used many of the same arguments with the Secretary of State that we have raised locally. Read their campaign’s statement here.
We are calling on people to fill in the Future Fit Survey and answer “Strongly Disagree” to both options. You can download the Survey from here.
And some Facts you won’t find in the Future Fit consultation documents:
10 Things you didn’t know about Future Fit
- The research evidence shows that longer journeys to A&E mean more people die.
- Hospital trust SaTH say they need 20 A&E Consultants – but they only have a budget for 9! Closing an A&E because of recruitment problems is against expert advice from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
- Future Fit means 842 fewer hospital staff – a fall of over 15%.
- Future Fit means 20% fewer nurses and midwives – the loss of 330 jobs.
- Medical beds will fall from 395 to 354 with Future Fit – a fall of over 10%. Remember the chaos and trolley waits during the winter? It’s going to get worse.
- Heard about “care closer to home”? There’s no money for it. The NHS planners – the ‘CCGs’ – in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin are making cuts in community NHS spending.
- The funding for Future Fit isn’t a gift. It’s a mix of different sorts of loan and it has to be paid for. This means at least £11 million a year taken away from patient care.
- Heard of Project Phoenix? It’s a new variant of the PFI schemes that are bleeding the NHS dry. Part of the money for Future Fit will come from Project Phoenix.
- There’s a black hole in Future Fit finances. The annual deficit of the hospital trust has shot up from £10.1 million to £20.5 million. Also changes to healthcare in mid-Wales will lose our hospital trust money – estimated by a former Chief Executive of Princess Royal Hospital at £16.5 million a year. It means all the Future Fit costings are built on sand – and it means more cuts.
- This public consultation is built around false information. That makes it “unfair”. Legally, it has to give people enough information for “intelligent consideration to challenge and respond”. Information is meant to be complete and accurate. Decision makers should come clean about disadvantages. They should tell us in advance how they will make their decisions. Future Fit consultation fails.
THIS IS WHY ONLY ONE RESPONSE IS POSSIBLE IN THE FUTURE FIT CONSULTATION. WE NEED BOTH OUR A&Es, BOTH OUR HOSPITALS – AND THE FUNDING FOR DECENT HEALTHCARE FOR ALL OF US.