Cardiology to be centralised at Telford hospital

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Princess Royal Hospital sign
Image caption,
Cardiology services will be based at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital

Heart unit services are to be centralised at one of Shropshire's two acute hospitals, health bosses have agreed.

Currently, both Royal Shrewsbury and Telford's Princess Royal feature cardiology wards.

But their trust heard staffing shortages meant it was "unsustainable" to continue provision at each site.

The trust board agreed a move to base it solely in Telford.

A report to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) said the move would improve recruitment and retention of staff as well as reducing risk to patients, adding "the impact of the staffing shortages is acutely felt in the two coronary care units".

Staffing two impatient bed bases, the report said, had become "unsustainable and a significant risk to the trust".

The proposal had already been discussed and approved by health commissioners as well as local councillors.

The move would be an interim measure ahead of the Future Fit reorganisation of the hospitals, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said. Under the Future Fit programme, Telford's A&E is set to be made an urgent care centre instead.

The shakeup has had its critics, with complaints including worries over delays in transporting emergency patients from the Telford catchment to Shrewsbury. NHS bosses say the reorganisation will ensure services are sustainable for the future.

Separately, the meeting also heard that in recent weeks staff had experienced an increase in verbal abuse over Covid restrictions, including mask-wearing, which was described as "wholly unacceptable".

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