Over 12,000 people join call for hospital plan rethink
Over 12,000 people have signed an online letter to Health Secretary, Theresa Coffey in less than 24 hours, urging her to rethink hospital transformation plans in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin.
The NHS4All campaign launched on 4 October to give people a voice on controversial plans that will see Telford’s main hospital, the Princess Royal, lose its 24-hour A&E and emergency care for women and children as it becomes a centre for planned care.
The latest plans, called the Strategic Outline Case for hospital transformation, were approved by the Government and NHS England Investment Committee in August and published by local health leaders in September.
If plans go through unchanged, Telford will become the largest town in England without a full A&E, despite the borough aging and growing faster than most other areas across the country.
Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Councillor Shaun Davies said: “Since launching the NHS4All campaign yesterday, we’ve seen a tidal-wave of public support.
“Within the first 30 minutes, 300 people had signed the letter to urge a U-turn on hospital transformation plans. By 8.30pm, 10,000 people had signed. The numbers just keep rising.
“People feel really strongly that the Princess Royal Hospital needs a full A&E service and that emergency care should continue to be offered from the purpose built Women and Children’s Centre, opened only eight years ago.
“They are also rightly concerned that the changes consulted on back in 2018 cannot be delivered because of budget constraints.”
Two in three of the 18,742 people who officially responded to public consultation on Future Fit plans disagreed with moving emergency care to Shrewsbury.
Despite this, in October 2021, proposals costing around £500 million to make the Princess Royal a centre for planned care and move emergency care to the Royal Shrewsbury were put forward to NHS England and NHS Improvement. These plans were rejected with health leaders being asked to come up with a cheaper option for change which met the £312 million budget allocation.
People can go to www.nhs4all.co.uk to sign the letter to the Health Secretary.