Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies has suggested the Future Fit public consultation be rescheduled for the New Year.

The Future Fit Programme Board, which has been set up to reform emergency care across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, is expected to announce the anticipated consultation imminently.

But the Conservative MP says it should now be scheduled to begin in early 2018 and should be limited to the statutory required period of 12 weeks rather than the expected 14 weeks.

Mr Davies says his suggestion is against a background of disappointment that the public consultation has not already been launched.

He said: “I am hugely frustrated and disappointed that the public consultation on the reform of NHS Hospitals that serve Shropshire and Mid Wales has not already begun. But it’s time to face reality, and outline a clear achievable programme for public consultation on the way forward.

“It remains possible that public consultation could begin in December, but it would be against a background of Christmas when public attention would be on other things. It would also have to be a 14-week consultation to take Christmas into account.

“It would therefore be more sensible to begin public consultation in January, which would last the statutory period of 12 weeks.”

The preferred option backed by the Future Fit board would see A&E services based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital with non-emergency planned care based at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

Mr Davies says: “It’s been my personal preferred option for the last 20 years.

“The only hurdle left now is confirmation that the approximately £200 million needed to fund the reform is made available by NHS England.

“I remain confident that the public consultation will support the location of a new A&E Unit at the Royal Shrewsbury, and that building work on site will begin next summer.”