Concern over Telford A&E overnight closure plan

Princess Royal Hospital, Telford Image copyright Google
Image caption Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust insists no decision has been made on the overnight closure of the Princess Royal Hospital's A&E department

Staff at a hospital emergency department say they have received letters warning them their department could close overnight.

Telford's Princess Royal Hospital staff said they have been told they will work out of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

The trust which runs both hospitals, which are 18 miles apart, say it is a contingency plan only.

But the leader of Telford & Wrekin Council said people in the town feel it is a "done deal".

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SATH) said it is in case staffing levels across the A&E departments become unsafe for patients.

It said although it has been successful in recruiting additional consultants in A&E, staffing remains a challenge in the emergency departments at both hospitals.

Telford council leader Shaun Davies said: "If it is just a contingency plan, then fine, only time will tell.

"But what I am being told by staff is that they are being given the briefing note and tipped the wink that this is the beginning of an overnight closure."

'Irresponsible and dangerous'

SaTH said the plans have existed since March 2017, with discussions on the proposed closure taking place for the past three years.

Nigel Lee, Chief Operating Officer at SaTH, said: "I must once again emphasise that the suspension of services is not something we want and we are working hard to avoid this.

"However, it would be both irresponsible and dangerous for us not to have robust plans in place to ensure the continued safe and dignified treatment of our patients."

It comes as consultation is underway on the long-term reorganisation of services at the two hospitals.

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