Growing concern over NHS services shake-up in Shropshire
The impact on Mid Wales of a potential shake-up of NHS services in Shropshire will be discussed at a meeting – as a petition calling for services to be maintained reached 11,000.
Members of Montgomeryshire Community Health Council will discuss possible changes to services such as stroke and A&E treatment at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
A 20-minute public question time will also form part of the meeting on Wednesday at Coleg Powys, in Newtown, to give concerned members of the public the chance to quiz officials.
The petition was set up by Newtown councillor Joy Jones and her friend Vicky Ruff-Cock to campaign to keep stroke and A&E services in Shrewsbury.
Councillor Jones said it was vital for people living in Mid Wales that the services were kept as close to the border as possible, as journey times to Telford are an extra 20 minutes and could be vital in life or death situations.
The petition was launched after Peter Herring, chief executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, warned it would be "unrealistic" for both the Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal hospitals to continue delivering 24/7 specialist services.
Councillor Jones claims Newtown could become cut off if health services are moved from the RSH.
She said: "Medics talk about the golden hour in getting patients to hospital – and it is already cutting it fine in getting to Shrewsbury.
"You would only make it to Telford in an hour if the ambulance was practically on your driveway when you made the call – and it doesn't work like that. I know from experience that if you call an ambulance it can take 20 minutes to come to your house, then the paramedics will carry out an initial assessment, get you loaded up and then take you to hospital.
"The road from Newtown to Shrewsbury can be very busy and to then go on to Telford will take you way over the hour."
The meeting will start at the college on Llanidloes Road at 2pm.
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