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Future Fit uncertainty delays planned refurb at Telford hospital

By Rory Smith | Telford | Health | Published:

A charity dedicated to supporting Telford's Princess Royal Hospital has said the uncertainty amid Future Fit has stopped them carrying out much-needed work.

The Friends of PRH group has said it is hesitant to fund equipment that may not be needed once the decision on the proposed health plan is made.

Members have also said planned refurbishments to the charity's cafe at the front of the hospital have had to be put on hold.

It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock is yet to make his decision on the Future Fit plans, expected to be made later this week, which will affect services at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

The group, which funds vital and often life-saving equipment for PRH, has spent more than £75,000 on medical appliances in the last 12 months.

Jo Bradley, Friends of PRH secretary, said: "We're living in this awful situation where we can't justify spending the money on a total refurbishment which we do need.

'No one knows what's going to happen'

"The cafe needs new equipment but it's too risky, we can't justify doing anything until we know what's happening."

The group recently spent £11,000 on fitting new tables and chairs inside the hospital cafe, but said it could not invest in other items needed.

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Group chairman Kate Owen said: "One difficulty we do face is Future Fit – we're not against the proposals as such but we just don't know what's going to happen.

"We didn't know whether to buy the tables and chairs even, we don't know whether we'll have this space if it all goes ahead as there are plans to change the front of the hospitals which is where we're located.

"We try our very best to spend the money here at Princess Royal Hospital, but for example if maternity come to us and ask for equipment, is it going to stay here? Is it going to go? It's living on a knife edge because no one knows what's going to happen."

Ms Bradley added: "Until we know what space is available and where we're going to be we can't in all honesty do anything.

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"We've got contingency money for a refurbishment but at the moment we're holding off."

The Friends group is also seeking volunteers and committee members to help raise money.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the hospital on 01952 641222.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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