The man in charge of Shropshire’s two main hospitals says he will keep Telford’s £28 million women and children’s centre at the Princess Royal Hospital - no matter what decision is made about where to base the county’s emergency centre.
Simon Wright, the man in charge of both Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and PRH, said PRH will also benefit from a new a cancer unit for patients needing day case treatment such as chemotherapy.
He said the new cancer unit, which will save patients in Telford having to travel to Shrewsbury, will be delivered whatever the outcome of the Future Fit process.
Mr Wright said the review into the long-term future of hospital services in the county would also have no effect on PRH continuing to provide a midwife-led unit, an early pregnancy assessment service, ante natal and post natal care, day case surgery, gynaecology and paediatric services.
Previously, it was said that women and children’s services would have to be located next to the main accident and emergency department.
Health chiefs are currently shaping plans to create an emergency centre at either PRH or RSH, with the other becoming a “planned care” site.
It is proposed that both sites will have accident and urgent care centres.
Mr Wright said: “Our intention, if our proposals are approved, is to maintain a women and children’s centre at PRH no matter what decision is made about where the emergency centre should be based.
“Based on the latest data, this would mean that at least seven out of 10 contacts, such as attendances or appointments, for women and children would remain at PRH either through the women and children’s centre or a new accident and urgent care centre, even if it was the planned care site.
“PRH would also gain a cancer unit for patients needing day case treatment such as chemotherapy, no matter what decision is made.
“Currently patients have to travel to Shrewsbury for this treatment.”
Health chiefs say that cancer services in Shrewsbury will not be affected by the new centre.
Mr Wright said it was a chance to shape healthcare in Shropshire for future generations.
He added: “The planned care site would also provide specialist services for bariatric surgery and breast surgery and our aspiration is for these to be centres of excellence.
“No decisions have been made and there will be a full public consultation about the options through the NHS Future Fit programme.
“This is a real opportunity to ensure both PRH and RSH are sustainable for the next 20 years and beyond.”
The Future Fit decision-making process is currently being independently reviewed.
Telford & Wrekin Council threatened legal action to retain A&E services.
It was also critical of plans to move the women and children’s centre just a couple of years after it was opened by the Princess Royal.
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