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NHS commissioners give their support for hospital plans to progress to the next stage

June 2016
Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCGs) Board members today (29 June), gave approval for the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) hospital plans to proceed the next stage. 
The CCG agreed to issue a letter of support for the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) prepared by SaTH. The letter will contain a number of caveats. The SOC sets out the challenges faced by the Hospital Trust, and clinical feedback highlighting the need to transform emergency care services in the county.  
Telford and Wrekin CCG gave their support to the proposals at an extraordinary board meeting on May 10. At that time, Shropshire CCG Board members felt unable to give their backing until further reassurance was given around the impact on community services. Today, Board members reviewed the work undertaken so far since May 10, listened to clinicians from SaTH and heard about the wider review to prototype urgent care services in other parts of the county.  
With both CCGs’ support, the Hospital Trust will be able to take the initial findings outlined in the SOC and undertake the detailed analysis needed to determine future options. Only after this detailed analysis and further engagement with clinicians and patients is carried out, will the Hospital Trust be in a position to develop options for consideration by CCGs and the public.
This process will take place over the coming months, and be based on one Emergency Centre at either Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or Princess Royal Hospital, Telford supported by an Urgent Care Centre at both sites.
Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG said: “Today we have taken the first step towards agreeing a way forward as a health system, however I would stress that there is a lot of very detailed work to be done before we can decide how hospital services will change. As a CCG we listened to clinicians, who told us that “no change is not an option” if we are to have safe and sustainable hospital services for future generations.
“Today we gave approval for the Hospital Trust to undertake this detailed analysis, so that they can develop recommendations for the future of hospital services. Once this work is completed, we will then review the options as a CCG and consult with the public.
“It is important for people to realise this is an important milestone, but there is still a long way to go before we are ready to make any final decision. Board members felt able to give their support today, however stressed the need for further engagement with patients and GPs, as well as continuing with our review into rural urgent care services.”
The letter of support will contain a number of caveats. These will be broadly themed under the headings of:
• Sustainability of the clinical model
• Community Fit
• Activity assumptions
• Community and/or primary care alternatives to acute care
• Affordability
• Governance
The programme team developing the proposals will be required to deliver regular progress updates to each CCG board, with specific reference to the caveats.
The work will also be subject to independent scrutiny by bodies including the West Midlands Clinical Senate.
The full letter of support will be published on the CCG's website