'Please send us your doctors': Telford's Conservative group leader in A&E plea
The leader of Telford & Wrekin Council's Conservative Group has written to health bosses at 15 trusts surrounding Shropshire's hospitals to appeal for assistance in preventing the night-time closure of the town's A&E.
Councillor Andrew Eade has asked the trusts to "show us in Shropshire true friendship and NHS solidarity" by offering middle grade doctors and nurses to work in A&E at Princess Royal Hospital.
He says he is also writing to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to request that Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) is placed into special measures.
In a letter to the trusts, Councillor Eade says: "The community in Telford & Wrekin and east Shropshire bear no guilt whatsoever for this situation, but will be sorely affected by the service deficit soon to be inflicted on them by the SaTH board and two clinical commissioning groups.
"Any assistance you are able to give our hospital by allocating middle grade doctors and nursing staff would be very gratefully received."
Staffing issues at SaTH led its board to vote in favour of a temporary overnight closure of services at PRH from next month.
However, the trust says both of the county's A&E departments could be kept open in the 'short-term' with an additional seven middle grade doctors and 15 A&E nurses.
Councillor Eade says the planned night-time closure of A&E at PRH will severely impact on neighbouring trusts, particularly as demand rises during the winter months.
He said: "Consequently I have written to all neighbouring trusts in the wider NHS family to assist in providing the necessary nursing staff and doctors to keep our A&E open while this mess can be sorted out.
“I will also be writing to the CQC requesting that SaTH is put into special measures as soon as possible, in order that the current management can receive the expert support needed to sort out a mess which is not of the communities' making.
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"The NHS was created on three founding principles; that it meets the needs of everyone, it is free at the point of delivery, and it is based on clinical need and not the ability to pay.
“We should be very grateful to our hospital staff at the PRH who have upheld these ideals and moved mountains to keep the current A&E centre functioning, but clearly they cannot continue working the shifts and hours currently demanded of them.
“The impact of SaTH’s proposals to close A&E provision, even temporarily, will leave Telford & Wrekin and all of East Shropshire dangerously exposed and with a basic health care provision usually associated with developing countries and unacceptable for our local communities.
“We do not want any further platitudes or gimmicks, but direct and substantial help, and as quickly as possible."