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Hospital trust to lose £3.5 million when Telford A&E closes overnight

By Jordan Reynolds | Telford | Health | Published:

The trust that runs the county's town main hospitals will lose out on £3.5 million when Telford's Princess Royal Hospital's A&E closes overnight.

The Princess Royal Hospital's A&E department

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has voted to press ahead with the department's closure, a decision which has sparked major concern and a petition - at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229602 - being signed by almost 20,000 people.

At Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s board meeting yesterdayit was revealed that the closure will likely be from mid-November

And the board was told that the closure will come at a loss of £3.5m, as the trust loses the income attributable to the patients who will go elsewhere.

Claire Skidmore, chief finance officer, said: “If they don’t provide the activity anymore, they don’t get the income attributable to those patients.

“The impact of losing those patients who will go elsewhere will be £3.5m.”

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Concerns were raised at the meeting about the mid-November closure date.

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Julie Davies, director of performance and delivery, told the CCG meeting the intention of the trust is working towards the middle of November.

“That’s subject to effectively ensuring their partners are ready for that closure to take place,” she added.

“I’ve proposed we take a weekly update and bring an update back to the November CCG meeting.”

William Hutton, CCG member, asked if problems may appear in other areas as the focus is on the A&E.

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He said: “Do we have any concerns that the amount of focus on the A&E will shift focus from other areas?

“Historically we’ve seen where focus has shifted, other problems have cropped up elsewhere.”

Responsibility

Julian Povey, clinical chairman of Shropshire CCG, said: “We do have come concerns that staff are stretched, we asked NHS Improvement if there is any additional support that can be drafted in.

“It’s a risk but that’s why we have to be involved in this, and if we are aware of any issues it’s part of our responsibility that we escalate that.”

Simon Freeman, accountable officer, added: “The decision has been taken as that is the safest option.

“The exact ways that will be carried out has not yet been decided, it will need to be subject to an assessment before it's carried out.”

Keith Timmis asked what will happen if the CCG is not happy that the decisions are safe when they come back to the CCG.

But Dr Freeman said it would be “unusual” for the CCG to disagree.

Dr Povey said he has asked that the CCG seeks detailed assurance in two week’s time.

“We’ve got to make sure if at any time we have a concern that we escalate it, if at any point we have any issue it’s absolutely our responsibility to raise it," he said.

Finola Lynch, clinical director for communications and engagement, said she had concerns about the timeline.

She said: “I’m just concerned by the timeline, what is left to do is so enormous and the time is so short.”

Mr Timmis added: “I still feel sceptical that we would have enough information to be sure this would be safe for patients.”

Dr Povey said that The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has said it does have the capacity to see patients there, but not to send doctors to Shropshire.

Dr Davies, when presenting the corporate performance report to the CCG, told members not to expect some “miraculous effect on the performance” of when the hospital closes overnight.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Reporter for the Shropshire Star covering Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas.

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