The leaders of the NHS Future Fit met today to discuss the next steps for the programme to transform NHS services in Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire.
They considered in-depth work into the affordability of the six scenarios that were shortlisted for hospital services, which also serve patients from Mid Wales, in February.
This work has concluded that all options that involve developing greenfield sites are unaffordable and should now be discounted.
They have, however, shown clearly that both The Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital sites have viable futures and will play an important part in on-going NHS Future Fit work.
The shortlist has therefore now been reduced from the original six options to four.
Princess Royal Telford
A No change
B Emergency Centre, Urgent Care Centre, Local Planned Care, Consultant-led Obstetrics
C1 Diagnostic & Treatment Centre, Urgent Care, Local Planned Care
C2 Diagnostic & Treatment Centre, Urgent Care Centre, Local Planned Care, Consultant-led Obstetrics
Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
A No Change
B Diagnostic & Treatment Centre, Urgent Care Centre, Local Planned Care
C1 Emergency Centre, Urgent Care Centre, Local Planned Care, Consultant-led Obstetrics
C2 Emergency Centre, Urgent Care Centre, Local Planned Care
All options would see both sites with an Urgent Care Centre and local planned care.
David Evans, Chief Officer of Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group and Caron Morton, Accountable Officer for Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group welcomed the decision.
They said: "Since February an immense amount of work has gone into studying the affordability of the shortlisted scenarios.
"This has now made it clear that all options involving greenfield sites are unaffordable.
"We need to acknowledge this is regrettable as we know it is what many people would have preferred.
"We have always known that the greenfield option was going to be the most expensive and we have done everything possible to see whether we could make this an affordable option.
"However, we have been forced to the conclusion that it would mean diverting an unacceptable level of funding from other frontline clinical services like primary, community or mental health care."
They added: "We do now have clear options that we can proceed with and which can meet the key clinical goals of NHS Future Fit – that is to provide safe, modern and sustainable access to emergency, urgent, planned and community care for our populations.
"They also show quite clearly that both the Princess Royal and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital sites have an important future and will play a key role as NHS Future Fit moves forward.
"There is still a lot of work to do before we consider whether the NHS Future Fit programme board recommends which site would be ideal for the Emergency Centre or the Diagnostic and Treatment Centre.
"We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this process so far."
Today's recommendation will now be considered by the local NHS organisations that have come together to lead the NHS Future Fit programme.
Work is also continuing in partnership with local communities on developing options for Urgent Care Centres in rural Shropshire; with five sites currently being considered – Ludlow, Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Bishops Castle and Whitchurch.
Urgent Care Centres would also be established at the Princess Royal and Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals.
Both Healthwatch Telford and Wrekin and Healthwatch Shropshire are working with NHS Future Fit in order to ensure patient views from across Shropshire/Telford & Wrekin are properly considered.
Kate Ballinger, Manager, Healthwatch Telford and Wrekin said: "Healthwatch is the independent consumer voice in England and both local Healthwatch organisations are engaging with the public to make sure that people know what is happening.
"There are many ways of making your voice heard, Healthwatch want to make sure that voice is listened to."