Blueprint for sustainable acute and community hospitals will ensure Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are fit for the future

A major project to redesign acute and community hospital services in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin led by local doctors reaches a significant milestone this week.

Launched in November 2013 Future Fit is a partnership programme between hospitals, local clinical commissioning groups, patients groups, local councils and others.

The purpose of Future Fit is to develop safe, accessible services that offer the best outcomes for the population served by the hospitals which includes patients in mid-Wales as well as those in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Already noted by NHS England’s area team for its ‘impressive clinical engagement’, the programme receives a clinical design report this week that has been collectively created by 300 doctors, nurses, other health professionals, social care workers and patients.

Approved by the Future Fit Programme Board, it will form the framework for locally sustainable acute and community hospital services for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin for the next 20 years and beyond.

Dr Caron Morton, Accountable Officer at Shropshire CCG, said: “The commitment that has been shown by local clinicians here to create a system that will allow them to deliver the best possible outcomes for their patients has been unprecedented.

"The work is based on a number of principles that include; patients should be cared for in their own home or as close as is feasible, that clinicians should be empowered by having access to the best possible equipment and support from colleagues on the same site, that healthcare services are innovative and integrated and that we escape the constant threat of loss of service by creating a system for the area that stands the test of time.”

David Evans, Accountable Officer at Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: “The Future Fit programme is an extension of our previous conversations with local people and comes directly from our Call to Action in late 2013, where residents told us they felt local NHS services could be better joined up and more efficient and that pressures on current NHS staff were causing increasing problems.

"Although many people we spoke to described excellent examples of local care, there was a resounding impression that decisions about their care were made for them and not with them and that when that happened, their needs were not met or recognised.”

The next stage will be to share the clinical design as widely as possible with the public and to discuss how people think it could best be delivered to meet the needs of patients across this wide geographical area.

The clinical design report is available to download at www.nhsfuturefit.co.uk/key-documents/documents.