Health Secretary urged to step in over PRH
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been urged to step in over the ‘disarray’ in Shropshire’s local NHS after plans emerged to close Telford Princess Royal Hospital’s A&E department overnight.
The Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council has written to the Secretary of State to bring to his attention the latest plan, discussed at a Board Meeting of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) on Thursday 30 March.
The Council fearsthat the proposed move, which cites a shortage of consultants, would downgrade the PRH by the back door.
Cllr Davies calls on Mr. Hunt to secure additional A&E consultants to maintain 24/7 A&E services at PRH while the long-running decision-making process on the long-term future of hospital services, known as ‘Future Fit’ is decided in a legal, fair and transparent way.
In his letter Cllr Shaun Davies said that, despite Telford & Wrekin Council being a stakeholder in ‘Future Fit’, it had not been shown the basic courtesy of being told by SaTH in advance of this latest plan regarding Telford’s A&E department.
Referring to a comment made by the Health Secretary about ‘local incompetence’ in NHS management when they met in London in January, Cllr Davies said: “This is another example of the ‘disarray’ in Shropshire’s local NHS which Cllr Pate and I described to you … when we met in January.
“The Council will be holding an Extraordinary Meeting as soon as possible with a motion ‘no confidence in Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital trust’ as a result.
“I urge you again to intervene now before this is too late. If not the PRH will become another downgraded hospital where a temporary service closure on safety grounds becomes permanent.
“I ask you to ensure there is sufficient funding and resourcing for the continued running of Accident & Emergency Departments at both the Princess Royal Hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital until the long-running matter of Future Fit and, with it, the long-term future of this and other hospital services in Shropshire is settled in a legal, fair and transparent manner.
“Considering SaTH’s recent track record, I also urge you step in to ensure proper management of these hospitals for the sake of the medical teams who work so hard for all our residents.”