CAMPAIGNERS have been told to "wake up" over a controversial health consultation.

North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson spoke to the Herald about the Future Fit proposals, which will see emergency and planned care split between two Shropshire hospitals.

"We're getting £312m. That is a totally disproportionate slice of the capital budget for the whole of the NHS across the whole of England," he said

"It is a massive investment - it is the largest state investment in Shropshire ever and some of these groups ludicrously call it a cut because they've got a mentality where the only way they can talk about the health service is to talk about savage cuts.

"This is a huge increase, it's going to improve healthcare, we're going to bring skills back into Shropshire which don't exist at the moment so my advice to them is get behind it and wake up."

Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, confirmed earlier this year that up to £312m will be available to fund the building of the new centre which will serve the area currently covered by the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

Under the Future Fit proposals, clinical commission groups (CCGs) for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are proposing having an emergency care site at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in Shrewsbury and the planned care at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

Both hospitals would have an urgent care centre that is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

"As far as I'm concerned, this has dragged on for three years, it's cost something like three million quid. The talking has been done absolutely to death, we've now got a plan, it's got the full backing of the clinicians and the two CCGs, it's going to attract the largest public investment ever in history in Shropshire by the state. We just want to get on with it," Mr Paterson said

"I had a meeting with other MPs and we're really urging the CCGs to make a decision by Christmas and get on with it, otherwise we're going to drift into next year's elections - it'll dribble on further."

It is dangerous, they are having trouble manning the two A&Es. We always knew this was going to be a problem. What we want is this huge investment which will bring whole skills back into Shropshire that we've lost - strokes and heart attacks and things are no longer handled in Shropshire.

"It's a massive enhancement of healthcare and I just hope everybody goes to a public meeting and gets behind it."