We can't sustain care at two A&Es in Shropshire, warn medics

Front-line hospital staff and consultants today renewed calls for a single A&E unit insisting: "We can't sustain patient care."

Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, left, and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, left, and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Medics at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal believe a centralised service would be the best way to cope with increasing demands on accident and emergency care in the county.

The claim was made as the Shropshire Star was granted behind-the-scenes access to A&E at the country's two hospitals.

The future of A&E services in the county remains uncertain as officials continue to work on Future Fit proposals to transform the way health care is provided. Those behind the proposals have said the strategic outline case is based on a clinical model that would see A&E care provided at trust one of the hospitals – meaning the other hospital's A&E department would close.

A network of urgent care centres would be set up to help treat people with non-life threatening injuries. But health campaigners have said the county needs two A&E units to ensure people from Mid Wales and remote rural areas of Shropshire receive emergency care when they need it.

Dodiy Herman, consultant at Royal Shrewsbury A&E, said centralising services would help with recruitment problems at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the two acute hospitals. He said: "We are working at full capacity nearly every day.

"I think if we were given a modernised department it would make the way we work more efficient and if it is designed better then it will attract more people to work for us. I think working in a smaller hospital make you a better consultant as you get to work on everything. We are also very lucky as my colleagues are brilliant and very dedicated.

"As consultants we work a lot of overtime and are frequently on-call."

Senior staff nurse Helen Johnson, who is based in the A&E unit at PRH, said: "I think change needs to happen as we can't sustain patient care when it is like this."

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