The Council has said its commitment to keeping full 24/7 accident and emergency services at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital remains as strong as ever.
This comes as the Shrewsbury & Telford Hospitals Trust has said it is considering contingency plans for a number of scenarios including if staffing levels in its two hospitals make the A&E units become unsafe.
Such a situation could force overnight closure of either the PRH or Royal Shrewsbury A&E‘s units and the Trust is proposing three options to do this should the situation arise, which includes closing the PRH’s A&E overnight.
The Council says this situation has been greatly worsened by the delay to the NHS’s Future Fit programme announced earlier this autumn, which postponed any decision because the options it came forward with did not address SaTH’s growing deficit – due to hit £23 million next year.
Future Fit is now unlikely to come forward with any proposal for public consultation until late in 2016.
Deputy leader Cllr Richard Overton said: “We remain clear in our position – Telford is the area’s main population centre with the most pressing health needs. Our population is growing fast.
“And when any solution must bring forward a viable financial solution for SaTH, we are certain that the PRH site offers the best solution for a sustainable hospital, and space, for development.
“The success of the relocation of services such as the women’s & children’s centre and stroke services to the PRH confirm this.
“Closing an A&E unit overnight, even under emergency measures, would effectively downgrade the whole hospital. This is why Telford’s hospital needs to keep a full 24/7 A&E unit.”
Cllr Overton called on people who use the PRH to give their views on these contingency proposals to SaTH by email@example.com
Separately, the Council is proposing establishing a £100,000 fund to run a number of public campaigns, the most important of which would be extending its A&E 4 PRH campaign, which would begin in early 2016 prior to the Future Fit board deciding on any option that it wants to take forward for consultation.
The Council’s cabinet will next week be asked to approve this funding from an in-year underspend. It would also support initiatives such as the Council’s saving money by persuading more people to use cheaper online methods to contact it.
Member since: 10th July 2012
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