Delight as more than 1,000 sign petition over urgent care centre for Oswestry
More than 1,000 people have signed a petition for Oswestry to have its own urgent care centre if Shrewsbury's A&E unit is closed.
Councillor Paul Milner, mayor of Oswestry, said he was delighted that people had backed the petition he launched in April.
At the time of the launch he said emergency healthcare provision was the issue he believed residents were most concerned about.
Councillor Milner said: "I'm delighted with the support the petition has received and there's still time to sign it yet.
"It really is life or death. Emergency care must remain local. It's a matter that I feel really strongly about and I know a lot of residents do too – and it isn't just Oswestry residents. There's those in the surrounding parishes as well as patients in Mid Wales towns such as Newtown and Welshpool."
Councillor Milner started the petition after the board of Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust unanimously voted in support of plans to create a single emergency centre to serve Shropshire and Mid Wales at a meeting in April.
Councillor Milner said he believed that an emergency centre should be based in Shrewsbury as it is the most central location.
But hospital consultants based in the county have in recent days argued it is more important to get people cared for by specialists rather than focusing on where that care is provided.
"Shrewsbury is the most central location to the areas it serves, and it would be easier for those living in Telford to get to Shrewsbury than it would be for north Shropshire and Powys residents to get to Telford," Councillor Milner said.
"We live in a more rural area where our transport links aren't as good as those in Telford.
"I also wonder what happens to those patients who are discharged who live in north Shropshire or Powys with poor transport links and who have no family to get them home."
Councillor Milner said he feared if Shrewsbury lost its A&E, north Shropshire residents would travel over the border to Wrexham Maelor Hospital to use its A&E, one which he said was currently "over-capacity".
Residents have until June 17 to sign Councillor Milner's petition before he presents it to Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
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