LUDLOW MP and former health minister MP Philip Dunne has urged health chiefs go get on with it now approval has been given for major changes to health care for people living in south Shropshire.

The MP welcomed the decision by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, to allow reconfiguration of Shrewsbury and Telford’s acute hospitals (formerly known as the Future Fit proposals) to proceed.

Mr Hancock accepted a request from Telford and Wrekin Council to refer the Future Fit plans to an independent reconfiguration panel, before making a final decision.

The panel interviewed health bosses, clinicians, council officials and other interested groups in July before making its recommendations to the Secretary of State.

They recommended the plans should proceed, with Emergency Care located at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, and an urgent care model to allow as much clinically appropriate care to be delivered at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford as possible.

Mr Hancock has asked NHS England to provide advice on how the urgent care model can be provided through an accident and emergency Local at the Princess Royal Hospital, and to report back in one month.

Approval of the plans allows £312m of investment to be unlocked for Shropshire healthcare.

“I am delighted that the Secretary of State has approved Future Fit, following recommendations from the independent reconfiguration panel,” Mr Dunne said.

“This is welcome news for patients in Shropshire, who will benefit from a massive investment of £312m into our hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford.

“This brings to an end the longstanding uncertainty which has made recruitment and retention of qualified clinical staff more difficult for many years.

“The key point is that these plans were developed by NHS clinicians working in Shropshire.”