Monday, November 13, 2006

Glyn Davies formal response to the Consultation on the future of the NHS in Shropshire

Clive Walsh
Programme Director - Service Plan
C/o Shropshire County Primary Care Trust
William Farr House
Mytton Oak Road

On 16 Oct you made a public presentation on behalf of the Shropshire County and Telford and Wrekin Primary Care Trusts to a public meeting held at Welshpool of your plans to reorganise hospital services at Shrewsbury and Telford. Very few people turned up – mainly because they didn’t know it was on. I attended this meeting because I wanted to reflect constituent’s concerns in the response that I intended to make to your Consultation Document – known as the Strategic Service Plan. Consequent on the poor attendance I arranged another meeting on 10 Nov and invited a few people to help me formulate my response. 250 people turned up, without any real advertising, which demonstrates the intense interest of the people of and around Montgomeryshire in what is happening in Shropshire’s NHS Services.

At the meeting, I explained that your Plan has been drawn up to meet three main objectives.

a) That the services delivered throughout Shropshire must be clinically sustainable
b) That the services must, as far as possible be acceptable to all key stakeholders
c) That the financial position of the Trusts must return to a position of balance by 2011/2012 – wiping out historic debt which in the case of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS trust has reached approx. £34 million.

The strongest message I want to convey to you following the meeting is that we want as many services as possible to be retained at Shrewsbury - especially those that are sensitive to time and distance. For many of us Shrewsbury is already a far enough distance away. We strongly support the retention of Accident and Emergency services, low risk maternity and paediatrics at the Royal Shrewsbury. We are also pleased that Children’s Services are to retain 24 hour medical staffing cover at Shrewsbury. We urge you not to compromise on these proposals as a result of pressure that you might receive from other parts of your ‘catchment area’.

However several people in Powys are deeply disappointed that inpatient Urology Services are to be moved to Telford. I repeated the usage level figures for these services which you had given to me (approx. 150 each year from Powys). I also repeated your assurance that some of these inpatient cases were likely to become outpatient cases in future and so continue to be dealt with at Shrewsbury. However the people at the meeting were concerned that a trend of taking services from Shrewsbury to Telford was being established. We believe this would be damaging to the provision of healthcare in Powys.

There was also great concern expressed about the ongoing difficulties in the relationship between the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt NHS Hospital Trust and the Powys Local Health Board. We hope that the position will settle down quickly because so many patients awaiting treatment are concerned about where and when they will be treated. We are pleased that the relationship between the Local Health Board and the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust seems to have improved.

There were many other points raised at the meeting which did not relate directly to your Consultation Document. I am preparing a list which I shall send to you separately. However there was one issue which is a cause of widespread concern – the unacceptable delay in the development of the 6 station satellite renal dialysis unit which is planned for Welshpool Hospital. I realise that you share my concern on this point. I will be presenting a petition collected in and around Welshpool before my meeting to the Assembly Government Health Minister asking him to put pressure on Health Commission Wales. This unit is desperately needed.

I hope you will take note of the points which I have made as you prepare the final version of your Strategic Service Plan.

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