The following is a statement from Simon Wright, Chief Executive of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, following Monday night’s Joint Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) meeting about NHS Future Fit. You can read a CCG statement about that meeting here:

Simon Wright, Chief Executive of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), said: “Our area’s acute emergency service has been frail for some time.  Three years ago, system leaders came together in a ‘Call to Action’, recognising that the issue was becoming urgent and unsustainable.

 “Following this, doctors, nurses and other health professionals worked together in a programme called NHS Future Fit to design a clinical model that they felt would give the best patient results, combining the need for in-depth medical expertise with convenience of access. 

 “The emerging model was tested and improved by patient groups and a clinical reference group, plus external bodies such as the Regional Clinical Senate and NHS England.  But the health system belongs to the people it serves.  The public now needs to have the chance to understand the suggested model in detail, to test whether it achieves the right balance between clinical outcomes and convenience, and help shape a final agreed design.

 “NHS Future Fit made a recommendation to the two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).  The CCG boards met on Monday night and recorded a 50/50 split on the outcome.  This may mean our population will be denied an opportunity to engage in formal consultation.

 “It also means that the fundamental issue – the fragility of the emergency care system – remains unaddressed.  SaTH will now need to reflect on the mechanisms available to our system and its capability to arrive at a unified decision on how to save and strengthen this fragile service. 

 “The original rationale for the process of Future Fit remains an imperative. Simply relying on the continued good will of clinical teams in our A&Es, Intensive Therapy Units, and acute medicine heroically to carry these risks 24/7 cannot continue.

 “We acknowledge that CCG board meetings are taking place this week and will await some further feedback from them on the assurances that I have asked for in regard to process, decision-making and pace before considering how best we safeguard our emergency provision.”