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I think that T&W council’s response to the decision to locate acute services to the RSH illustrates the weakness of their strategy in dealing with Future Fit. The Future Fit programme board is tasked to remodel health provision through Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire and Powys within a reduced financial framework, (cuts of £147.5 million by 2020). As soon as you accept that this reduced frame work is inevitable you have lost the battle because wherever the cuts hit, whether at Telford A&E or Shrewsbury, we all suffer. Obviously whatever exists after remodelling, there will be a reduced service at a time of increasing demand which can only lead to chaos. Instead (and they are not alone in this) of trying to strategise a regional response that acknowledges how health services are delivered, T&W have conceded defeat on the basic premise of Future Fit i.e that there be only one district hospital A&E provision. Because of this divisive strategy they can’t speak or campaign against the model with a voice that doesn’t sound like one of self interest and that competes with Shropshire voices who are playing the same game. What we need is a campaign that rejects the Future Fit financial framework and demands more finances for the whole Health region. Imagine how it would be if all the region’s Councillors and MPs spoke with that one voice in one campaign to protect our health and not just to protect their votes. Unity rather than divisions is the only way we can leverage the Government to do a U turn on these cuts programme the present undignified scramble for the left over crumbs plays exactly into their hands. #NHS4Me.

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