Welshpool Referendum on Health Services is set for October 26

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

WELSHPOOL RESIDENTS will be given a say on changes to hospital services in a special referendum set for Thursday, October 26.

The town council agreed to the vote back in July.

After discussions with Future Fit which is handling the proposals to change the services provided at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, residents will be given the opportunity of voting for two options.

Option 1 – The Emergency Care site is at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Planned Care site is at the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford. Both hospitals would have a 24-hour Urgent Care Centre.

or

Option 2 – The Emergency Care site is at the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, and the Planned care Centre site is at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Both hospitals would have a 24-hour Urgent Care Centre.

These questions are the same as the ones that Future Fit will use during their three month consultation on the proposed changes to services which is set to start in mid-October.

Welshpool Town Council clerk, Robert Robinson, explained: “This is going to be such an important, one-off vote.

“The situation has been evolving, we know what the politicians have been saying for the last couple of years, and there have been several surveys.

”We believe that people have been ‘surveyed out’ and that this is the best way forward.

“We have finally been able to discuss things with Future Fit, and know what questions they will put to the residents of the area, once they go ahead with their consultation.

“These options that we are putting to Welshpool residents are the same question that will be in the consultation..

“Whatever way it goes will be binding on the town council, it will be our opinion.

“It’s clear that these are stark choices.”

Mr Robinson continued: “We know that one hospital will become an Emergency Care Site, dealing with life and life threatening situations such as the effects of car crashes while the other site will be used for Planned Care. This means operations, procedures and appointments.”

The residents of Welshpool and North Powys who give their views in both the referendum and Future Fit consultation will need to choose whether they believe it is best to have Urgent Care or Planned Care closest to hand.

Mr Robinson added: “We need to get people out and vote.

“There are around 250,000 people living in the Telford area and we have around 6,000 here, so we need to make sure that the percentage that take part in this referendum is high.”

Welshpool Town hall will be used for the polling station on the day, and the council will be able to offer a free car service to ferry people there.

n If you wish to vote by postal vote contact the Town Council on town.clerk@welshpooltowncouncil.gov.uk or ring 01938 553142 by October 19.

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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