Letter to Health Secretary from Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Council leaders
The leaders of Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Councils have again written to the Secretary of State for Health, calling on him to keep the county’s two A&Es open while their ultimate futures are still being decided.
The latest letter from Telford & Wrekin Council Leader Shaun Davies and Malcolm Pate, Leader of Shropshire Council follows the county’s two Clinical Commissioning Groups’ (CCGs) deadlock last Monday on a recommendation from the Board of Future Fit to site the Emergency Department and Women and Children’s Centre at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
In their first joint letter in October, the two leaders called on Jeremy Hunt to intervene. In their latest letter they say: “We need your urgent assistance to intervene and address the significant lack of A&E consultants working in the hospitals. Last Monday, no decision was taken by the two CCGs with regard to going out to public consultation on the reconfiguration of acute services but the decision, whatever and whenever it is made, will inevitably take sometime to implement.”
The concerns are escalated in the winter months as visitor numbers to A&E soar. Both Councils have campaigns to help residents stay safe and well in their homes during the winter months but despite these efforts, visits to A&E still rise. The recently published Clinical Senate report highlighted these issues, stating that further reductions in consultant numbers would lead to real issues for the A&Es and therefore residents.
The letter continues: “We believe it is vital for the safety of our residents that the A&E departments at both hospitals are adequately staffed and maintained in their current form until the outcome of the ongoing acute reconfiguration is fully implemented.
“Our concerns are very real and jointly held and would ask that immediate action is taken to resolve this very serious situation.”
The letter ends with a reminder to Mr Hunt that Councillors and local MPs are due to meet in the New Year, when it is hoped a resolution can be found.