Survey shows strong support for keeping both A&Es in Shropshire

A total of 96.3 per cent people demonstrated overwhelming support of Shropshire retaining its two fully-functioning A&E departments in a recent survey of 1,500 people.

Shropshire Green Party 'Healthy Greens' surveyed 1,500 people, who demonstrated support for the retention of the two A&E departments
Shropshire Green Party 'Healthy Greens' surveyed 1,500 people, who demonstrated support for the retention of the two A&E departments

The current Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) Future Fit proposals would see the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) become the county's only full A&E.

Under current plans, urgent care services would still be available at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital but emergency care would be delivered primarily from RSH's new, purpose built emergency department.

A recent survey has however demonstrated that the people of Shropshire are overwhelmingly against plans that would see the closure of one of the county's A&Es.

Shropshire Green Party 'Healthy Greens' group asked over 1,500 people across 11 Shropshire towns if they think Shrewsbury and Telford's A&Es should remain fully functional.

People in Bishop's Castle, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Shrewsbury, Telford, Wem and in Whitchurch were asked the question 'Should both Shrewsbury A&E and Telford A&E remain fully functioning A&Es?'.

Some 96.3 per cent responded in support of two, fully operational A&E departments. One hundred per cent of people in Telford responded with Yes, the lowest support came from Market Drayton, at 92.7 per cent.

Senior nurse Clare Nash, co-lead of Healthy Greens said bosses and board members at SaTH must "respond to the consistent and strong message from people across Shropshire".

She added: "The 'Future Fit' plan to downgrade Telford A&E into a yet-to-be-defined 'A&E Local' will result in acutely unwell patients from Telford areas being 'blue-lighted' to Shrewsbury - a journey time that could take upwards of 25 minutes depending on road conditions.

"The lives and optimal recovery of critically ill or injured patients will be at serious risk if they are forced to travel to the west side of Shrewsbury to the only A&E in the plans for the whole of Shropshire."

Former councillor and 'Healthy Green' contributor Pat McCarthy said the two A&E were already struggling with demand.

He said: "Both A&Es have not met the national target to 'treat, transfer or discharge' 95 per cent of A&E attendees within four hours for years, mainly because, as now widely recognised, not enough clinical staff, not enough free beds because of not enough available social care provision for safe discharge for recovering patients.

"So how only one A&E in Shrewsbury will deliver the real emergency care whenever we need it is worryingly uncertain."

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