Campaign launched to save Shropshire hospital services

Campaigners have launched a new Shropshire-wide campaign to save the county's NHS service.

Campaign launched to save Shropshire hospital services

The Shropshire Defend our NHS Campaign has been launched in response to what the group describes as "an escalating crisis in the NHS, locally and nationally".

Gill George, spokesman for the new campaign, said: "The immediate threat is to the A&E. It's clear that NHS bosses have already taken a decision to close one of the A&Es. That would be a disaster.

"Once you close an A&E, you rip the heart out of a hospital. The intensive care unit closes at the same time, and that means the end of consultant-led maternity services, most surgery, and care for anyone who is seriously ill. It's about closing down a hospital".

The group was formed at a meeting of The People's Assembly Against Austerity, held at Shrewsbury Abbey on Thursday. The group has been formed by local community groups, campaigners and political parties to fight against Government cuts.

In Shropshire, children's inpatient services, gynaecology services and consultant-let maternity services are all moving to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford into the new Women and Children's Unit.

Acute stroke services have also moved to Telford's hospital temporarily, where they will remain until at least the end of the year.

The group has said this makes it look like the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is being run down in preparation readiness for closing other services.

Ms George, said: "It looks like Shrewsbury Hospital is already being run down, in preparation for closing the A&E. It doesn't matter which way round it is, though: Shrewsbury or Telford. If you close either A&E, we all lose out."

Future Fit, the restructuring programme led by the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups, has put together proposals which could involve building a new hospital for emergency care, with other urgent but non-life threatening conditions being treated at a network of centres around the county.

Ms George, a recently retired NHS worker, said: "The research evidence is that people die if they travel a long distance to get to A&E.

"This isn't good enough."

  • Star comment: Our health service is defended

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