The 14-week public consultation on the future of NHS services in Shropshire has opened today (Wednesday 30th May) and it's incredibly important that the people of Montgomeryshire have their say, according to Montgomeryshire Assembly Member, Russell George.
There will be a series of pop-up style roadshows, public exhibitions and a survey for people to share their views.
Pop up events are already provisionally scheduled for Montgomery, Knighton, Welshpool, Llanfair Caereinion, Llanfyllin, Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Llanidloes, Caersws, Machynlleth, Newtown and Kerry.
A major exhibition event is also scheduled for 3.30pm to 7.30pm on 28th June in the Elephant and Castle in Newtown, when doctors and nurses from Shropshire Hospitals will visit the county to explain why changes to hospital services are needed, answer questions and listen to views.
Responding to the proposed "Future Fit" changes which have been described as "affecting the health services which serve North Powys for generations to come", Mr George said:
"I can't stress enough how important it is for the people of Montgomeryshire to respond to this consultation in order to be able to get the best deal for the people of North Powys.
"I have been unashamedly in favour of the preferred option which sees services retained and strengthened in Shrewsbury which is centrally located to serve the healthcare needs of the wider region and those of us here in Montgomeryshire who access health services from across the border.
"This important consultation has been a long time coming but now that it is here, we all need to ensure that we get the right result for the current and future healthcare needs of the people of Powys for today's generation and for generations to come."
The consultation can be viewed at the following dedicated NHS Future Fit website and is open until 4th September 4th: https://nhsfuturefit.org
There are two options for consideration:
The preferred Future Fit option which has been put forward by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin clinical commissioning groups includes siting the county’s emergency department at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH). Under that model, Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) would take on responsibility for providing planned care. Both the RSH and PRH would also house an urgent care centre which would deal with most walk-in patient cases.
The second option would be for Princess Royal Hospital to house Shropshire’s emergency department and for Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to become the planned care site. Again, both hospitals would have an urgent care centre that would be open 24 hours a day. Health bosses say consultant-led women and children’s services would have to be on the same site as the emergency department. However, women and children’s services would still be available on the other site, including a midwife-led unit.