FINALLY, the planned Future Fit Consultation on NHS Services at hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford has been given the green light and will start on May 30.

This week the final decision which needed to be approved by both Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group

hit a last minute glitch.

Members of the Telford and Wrekin CCG wanted further clarification on parts of the document.

In a meeting earlier today, Telford and Wrekin Board members were happy with the minor changes and have given the thumbs up and the consultation will run for 14 weeks until September 4.

In Powys a special public exhibition of the proposals will be held at the Elephant and Castle Hotel in Newtown from 3.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursday, June 28.

Other exhibitions will take place in Shropshire.

In March, The UK Government announced that Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability & Transformation Partnership (STP) would receive £300m funding for the Future Fit programme to assist with the future reconfiguration of hospital services.

Health campaigners have been on tenterhooks ever since waiting for the consultation to start.

Health campaigner and Powys County Councillor, Joy Jones, said: "I'm so pleased we can move this decision forward.

"Its important for everyone this comes to a final decision and we really need as many people as possible here to give their views in the consultation.

"We will never get this chance again."

David Evans, Chief Officer, NHS Telford & Wrekin CCG, said: “I am delighted that we will soon be able to share our proposed plans for the future of our two hospitals and hear the views of communities across Telford & Wrekin, Shropshire and Mid-Wales.

"Thank you to all our patients, doctors, nurses, other healthcare staff and partners who have worked so hard to get us to this point."

Dr Simon Freeman, Accountable Officer, NHS Shropshire CCG, added: “This is fantastic news for our communities and a major step forward in making sure we can secure two vibrant hospitals and improve the care received by people across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid-Wales now and in the future.

"When the consultation launches, we would urge everyone to come to our events, visit our website and have their say by filling out our survey."

Final plans are now being put in place to widely promote the consultation.

This includes a new website – – which will launch on May 30.

Here, people will be able to find out more, download the consultation documents and fill in an online survey.

Paper copies of the consultation documents will also be made available at the Princess Royal and Royal Shrewsbury hospitals and at public and community venues across the region.

Throughout the 14-week consultation, there will be eight public exhibition events where people can drop in and meet doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff, ask questions and find out more.

The Options are:

Option One: The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital becomes an Emergency Care site and the Princess Royal Hospital becomes a Planned Care site

Option Two: The Princess Royal Hospital becomes an Emergency Care site and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital becomes a Planned Care site

Under either option, both hospitals would have an Urgent Care Centre that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but Option One is the preferred one.

The full list of meetings all from 3.30pm to 7.30pm is:

June 6 - Meeting Point House, Southwater Square, Telford TF3 4HS

June-7 - Shrewsbury Football Club, Oteley Rd, Shrewsbury SY2 6ST

June 28 - Elephant and Castle Hotel, Broad St, Newtown SY16 2BQ

July 4 - Bishop Mascall Centre, Lower Galdeford, Ludlow SY8 1RZ

July 11 - Methodist Church, New Street, Wellington, Telford TF1 1LU

July 25 - Bridgnorth Leisure Centre, Northgate, Bridgnorth WV16 4ER

August 2 - The Festival Drayton Centre, Frogmore Rd, Market Drayton TF9 3AX

August 15 - Cabin Lane Church, Cabin Lane, Oswestry SY11 2LQ