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Town to hold referendum

Created on 29/07/2017 @ 08:17
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Welshpool will hold a referendum to ask people their views on the future of hospital services.

In the poll voters will get the chance to say whether they want a single A&E unit to be based in Shrewsbury or Telford.

Welshpool Town Council says it wants to clear up how people feel about the Future Fit review of services at Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal hospitals. It will mean the setting up of ballot boxes.

Town Clerk Robert Robinson believes it is a simpler way to see what the people of Welshpool want and thinks it will help participate to the Future Fit consultation.

He said: “There have been so many health surveys in the last few years they’ve been filled in by everyone, even the cat and the dog. People are sick and tired of them and this presents a much easier way for people to give their view.

“We would have to wait until the options are released by the Future Fit board before putting them the vote to the people. “A lot of people get confused by the terminology. Everyone knows what A&E is, but critical care and urgent care confuses people, so hopefully this will be a lot more simple for people.”

Future Fit is run by its own board, under the county’s two clinical commissioning groups, and is looking at the re-organisation of hospital services in Shropshire. It has been running for over three years and has cost more than £3 million.

Previously it recommended one A&E unit set up at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital with the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford having it’s department downgraded to an urgent care centre. But the review is currently on hold after members of Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin CCGs failed to reach a decision on a single base at Shrewsbury, and transferring some women and children’s services from Telford to Shrewsbury.

It is subject to an independent review, and last week Telford MP Lucy Allan criticised the ‘incompetence’ of the senior management behind Future Fit.

The idea for the referendum was put forward by the care committee of the council. The consultation will run from September to December.

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