Calls for Health Secretary to intervene on future of A&E

Telford & Wrekin Council’s leader, Councillor Kuldip Sahota, has written to the Secretary of State for Health after the latest plans for Accident and Emergency services for the area were revealed.

Calls for Health Secretary to intervene on future of A&E

At the last meeting of Telford & Wrekin Council, on 11 September, the following motion received unanimous cross-party support:

“This Council notes with great concern proposals that would see one Accident and Emergency Centre for Telford, Shropshire and Mid-Wales becoming “ambulance only” with so called walk-in patients diverted to an Urgent Care Centre (UCC).

“Telford & Wrekin Council again calls for a full 24 Hour Accident and Emergency Service at our Princess Royal Hospital and urges the Secretary of State to intervene in this process that is bringing so much uncertainty to our residents”.

The latest plans, under the Future Fit consultation, on the future of A&E services in Telford and Wrekin, and Shropshire were revealed this week with the publication of a feasibility study.

The study proposes five different scenarios, including building a new A&E at either of the existing sites, a new A&E at a brand new site between Shrewsbury and Telford, or a combination.

The report offers information on costs and timescales for each of these with the option of a new-build A&E at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford coming out as the cheapest and one of the quickest options.

A new Accident and Emergency at the PRH, according to the study, would cost less than £200m, costing £50 million less and deliverable two years sooner than the next available option, while a new A&E at a new site would cost over £500m.

The Council has continued to voice its concerns over any downgrade to services at the PRH throughout the consultation with local NHS partners, as well as the implications for the region if a single site is sought.

These proposals come at a time when Telford and Wrekin is experiencing strong population and housing growth, with the borough ranked third for private sector growth and housing growth by the Centre for Cities Report 2014. While Telford’s economy has grown at almost twice the national average in the last two years.

There remain very significant levels of deprivation in the borough and very clear health needs.

Councillor Kuldip Sahota said: “We will continue to fight for full 24hr A&E at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital. Any options for a downgrade of this facility will not be an option this Council would support. That has always been and still remains our line in the sand.

“The NHS feasibility study clearly states that building a brand new A&E at the PRH is the cheapest option and would be ready for patients in little over four years time.

“We will continue to push for the Secretary of State to intervene to ensure that the right decision is made for the Telford and Wrekin borough.”