Shropshire hospital crisis: Patients turned away and surgery cancelled, documents reveal

Documents today reveal the extent of the crisis facing Shropshire's hospitals.

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

Major staff shortages, long delays for patients and the temporary closure of a number of services are detailed in a report on Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal.

NHS officials have already warned A&E services are ready for a "catastrophe" as another emergency consultant will be resigning in June.

But the document reveals the full extent of which some hospital services, not just A&E, in Shropshire are struggling. The report was prepared for other health care officials.

It reveals:

  • The hospital has stopped taking on new eye patients and glaucoma surgery has been suspended.

  • The neurology outpatient service is to close for six months.

  • Spine patients are being turned away after a consultant went on long term sick leave at short notice.

  • The dermatology outpatient service is described by medics as “fragile”.

Sara Biffen, deputy chief operating officer at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said bosses are looking at the long-term sustainability of all of their services. She said the aim was to provide the best care for patients.

She added: "It is no secret that our services are under increasing pressure.

"This is exactly the reason why we began on the journey of service reconfiguration which began with NHS Future Fit in 2014.

"Our programme for sustainable services for the 500,000 people across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales whom we serve is not just about our emergency services.

"It is also about the thousands of people we see every year for planned procedures."

Gill George, of campaign group Shropshire Defend Our NHS, today described the report as an "extraordinary document".

She said: "There is a massive risk here of vital services being stripped out of Shropshire altogether. The hospital is letting down patients badly."

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