The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has confirmed the proposal of a temporary change of service for the breast screening bus, which serves residents in Market Drayton.
SaTH has proposed that the mobile service be withdrawn from the town and relocated to the main hospital sites of The Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
Richard Steyn, co-medical director at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “We are proposing a temporary change of service for the breast screening mobile service at Market Drayton and Bridgnorth to help us catch up on screening appointments following the pandemic.
"Centralising the service at our main hospital sites will allow us to make the most efficient use of all available capacity. This will allow us to identify those women with undiagnosed breast disease and initiate a timely treatment plan.
“Breast Screening will be available at either Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or Princess Royal Hospital for those affected by this proposed temporary change."
The announcement has been met with concern from town councillor Roy Aldcroft, who highlighted the current issue of public transport – with no direct service for patients to The Princess Royal in Telford.
He said: "There is no bus service from Market Drayton to PRH. The journey to Shrewsbury would involve two changes and an hour each way.
"The lack of this breast screening bus at Drayton will involve 5,600 unnecessary journeys, nearly 100,000 miles of unnecessary travel and its effect on our carbon footprint.
"Could someone put a cost on that and the patients who will miss their appointments through lack of transport.”
The announcement comes shortly after residents shared their fears of becoming isolated from neighbouring towns, due to the lack of efficient public transport to and from Market Drayton.
Particularly for the purpose of hospital appointments and getting to college, it seems to be a real cause for concern, with people currently making unnecessarily long journeys to get where they need to be.
"We plan to return to Market Drayton and Bridgnorth for the next round of screening in Spring 2025," Richard added.
“As with any proposed change of service, we will be seeking the views of our communities and service users in June before any decision is taken by the Trust Board.
"We have already started this process engaging with GPs and local authorities, and welcome all feedback. We will share how to be involved in a few days.”
The matter will now go to a consultation.