Shropshire Star

Keeping two A&Es in Shropshire 'not safe', say Telford Conservatives

Conservatives in Telford have said that continuing to call for maintaining existing hospital services in the borough and Shrewsbury is not "financially viable or clinically safe".

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

A row broke out between councillors over whether the authority should continue to back emergency services at both hospitals or pledge to call for Telford's Princess Royal Hospital to be made the preferred option for the county's sole A&E department.

A notice of motion had been put forward under the name of Councillor Andrew Eade, Conservative leader, calling for the council to lobby the secretary of state for a national debate on the future provision of the NHS.

But speaking when it was presented at a full council meeting held at Oakengates Theatre he said the notice had been amended and said the Conservatives were calling for the council to throw its weight behind the Princess Royal Hospital to keep its two-year-old Women and Children's Centre and A&E department.

The Future Fit review had recommended having one A&E serving Shropshire and Mid Wales at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Princess Royal Hospital's A&E would be downgraded and its women and children's unit would also be moved to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. It is currently undergoing an independent review.

Both sides of the political argument agreed that the recommendation was not viable and would negatively impact on the borough, and described the Future Fit process as "flawed".

But Labour members said it was not a Shrewsbury against Telford issue and said the entire county needed adequate provision and proposed the amended motion to lobby Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Councillor Eade, ward member for Church Aston and Lilleshall, said: "We must fight to support our local hospital.

"We accept that the current clinical set-up is unsafe."

Fellow Conservative Councillor Jacqui Seymour, ward member for Wrockwardine, said: "Maintaining both services is neither financially viable nor clinically safe."

But Labour Councillor Gilly Reynolds, ward member for Oakengates and Ketley Bank accused the Conservatives of "giving up" on retaining services at both Telford and Shrewsbury.

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