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Government stepping in over A&E care dispute

Created on 13/01/2017 @ 07:47
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Politicians across the Powys/Shropshire border today welcomed Government intervention in a bid to break the deadlock over the future of accident and emergency care.

The Government will appoint a new independent chairman with a casting vote for joint meetings between Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), health minister David Mowat has ruled.

It will prevent a repeat of a joint meeting of the two CCGs in December, when members could not reach a verdict on a preferred option to base a single A&E unit at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital put forward by the Future Fit programme board.

“It is hoped a decision will be made locally within the next eight to 12 weeks,” Mr Mowat said.

The announcement was made at Westminster at a parliamentary debate led by Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski, who had called for a mechanism to be put in place to allow the views of clinicians to be put to the public.

It was immediately hailed as “tremendous news” by North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson.

Mr Kawczynski told the debate that a successful reorganisation of hospital services could bring up to £300 million of investment into the county’s NHS over the coming years.

Mr Mowat stressed that the government would not directly intervene and that the decision would have to be made locally.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said: "The message from the Minister was that decisions about hospital services in Shropshire will not be taken by Jeremy Hunt, but taken in Shropshire. This is acceptable to me. “But there remain questions about how the deciding vote at future CCG meetings is to be exercised.  What I want to see is progress towards a decision about emergency services in Shropshire supported by clinicians in Shropshire and Mid Wales, and not taken on the basis of political positioning.

“I also do not want to see the work of the Future Fit Programme Board, which has already cost several million pounds, to be thrown aside. Logic and clinical benefit suggests an 'Emergency Centre' in Shrewsbury, and the sooner we get on with it the better."

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