Shropshire

Telford hospital downgrade plan is 'wholly wrong'

Artist's impression of the planned emergency centre in Shrewsbury Image copyright SATH
Image caption Shrewsbury will house the main emergency department in Shropshire by 2025

Plans to downgrade a hospital's A&E department have been branded "wholly wrong", by the town's MP.

Telford's A&E will become an urgent care centre while Shrewsbury will house the main emergency department in Shropshire by 2025.

Telford council's leader said the plan "makes no sense" while MP Lucy Allan also criticised it.

The decision was welcomed by some with one doctor saying a specialist site will mean more high quality staff.

Telford & Wrekin Council has filed a motion asking Health Secretary Matt Hancock to review the decision "urgently".

The programme to overhaul services at the county's two main hospitals, which are also used by many patients from mid Wales, began in 2013.

Under the plan, Telford's Princess Royal Hospital will become the home of planned care with Royal Shrewsbury Hospital becoming "the main 24/7 A&E hospital for the area" as well as housing most women and children's services, "despite a new centre being opened at the Princess Royal four years ago at a cost of £28 million", the council said.

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups said the approved scheme would mean fewer people would have to travel and it provided best value for money.

But, posting on social media after the meeting, Telford MP Lucy Allan said it is "Wholly wrong of Future Fit to impose this plan on Telford without engaging local people or their representatives and without setting out benefits to Telford - all Telford politicians are opposed as are our residents."

Image copyright Telford Labour Party
Image caption The meeting on the plan was held at Harper Adams University on Tuesday

Telford council leader Shaun Davies has since published an open letter to Mr Hancock stating that the authority is "unanimous in its opposition to this decision" which "is the wrong decision for the people of Telford & Wrekin".

An emergency council meeting is due to take place next month over the decision.

The Future Fit meeting on Tuesday saw residents shout "shame on you" when commissioners cast votes on the plan.

Pat Fairclough, from Telford, who attended Tuesday's meeting, said: "I am disgusted for the people of Telford & Wrekin because we have been sold down the river."

But those working at the hospitals welcomed the decision, including Dr Adrian Marsh, A&E consultant at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, who said: "A specialist site will mean more high quality staff, with patients being seen by the right person much more quickly."

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