No consultants in Princess Royal Hospital at weekends

There are no consultants working in Telford’s A&E department at weekends, it has been revealed.

Princess Royal Hospital

Staffing levels are so low in the emergency departments in Shropshire that consultants are now only on call at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital on a Saturday and Sunday.

Consultants are still present at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital during the weekend and are at both hospitals during the week.

But at the weekends, consultant care in Telford’s emergency department is provided solely over the phone.

The situation was revealed by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust’s chief operating officer Debbie Kadum at a meeting of Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group yesterday.

Mrs Kadum was giving a report to members on problems the trust has faced meeting A&E four-hour waiting time targets and in meeting referral to treatment targets for patients. But she insisted: “There is consultant cover seven days a week.”

In September it was revealed that the trust had lost another A&E consultant, now running the two departments in Telford and Shrewsbury with just four.

At the time David Sandbach, the former chief executive of PRH, had called on members of the trust board to close one of its sites – either at PRH or RSH – saying it was unsafe for patients to run two A&E departments with the current levels.

It was also revealed earlier this week that staff were delayed for more than 30 minutes on 668 occasions at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford’s Princess Royal and for more than one hour on 159 occasions in November.

Mrs Kadum said that despite preparations being made for winter pressures at the hospitals, including freeing up more beds, the period had been busier than expected, causing some problems.

During the verbal report, Mrs Kadum said that in a bid to manage issues in the hospitals, each member of senior staff at the trust had been allocated their own ward to visit to monitor and address issues faced by the staff working on them.

She said she had been allocated ward four at PRH and that this was staffed 50 per cent by agency staff due to ongoing staffing problems.

Mrs Kadum also said that steps were in place to address the problems faced by the hospitals during the busy winter period.

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Comments for: "No consultants in Princess Royal Hospital at weekends"


Confirming that one acute A & E is the reasonable outcome.

Cunning Linguist

No, confirming that the recruitment and retention of clinicians under this government is insufficient to meet demand, never mind the underfunding of social care which could, if properly funded, greatly reduce bed-blocking.

the fat controller

There are senior doctors though and consultants on call. If this has been causing safety problems, Future Fit's PR department would have been firing on all cylinders to spin it as dramatically as possible.

It's another case of snippets of information dropped into the public arena without any context.

If nothing has changed consultant-wise since September, why is this suddenly news?


Shrewsbury was designated a Major Trauma Centre 5 years ago. So it has to have a consultant on duty. Telford is not and never has been so designated.

It does not mean that Telford does not have highly qualified staff on duty at all times. It does mean that Shrewsbury has to be ready to receive a major trauma case at any time. These are cases, which would previously have gone direct to Stoke or Birmingham Major Trauma Units but it was recognised that it might be better to take casualties to designated centres closer to the incident first, so that life saving and stabilisation care could be applied earlier. Such a patient may well go on to Stoke or Birmingham, having been stabilised, or could stay at Shrewsbury if the hospital has the expertise to deal with the injuries. It was estimated at the time it was introduced that could save as many as 40 lives per year. This difference has nothing to do with what's being argued about today, it's all 5years ago when the system was set up following a review of Major Trauma cases. it relates to major trauma cases which more than 5 years ago would not have gone to either hospital in the County. It's all about distance to travel at over thirty miles for very sick casualties.

Cunning Linguist

How dare Telford have an A&E, how dare Telford even have a hospital?