Shropshire Star

Health Secretary agrees to meet Shropshire MPs over county NHS crisis

The Health Secretary has agreed to meet Shropshire’s MPs to address the county’s emergency care crisis after being challenged by Helen Morgan in Parliament.

North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan

Mrs Morgan, the Lib Dem MP for North Shropshire, highlighted the huge ambulance waiting times and intense pressure on Shropshire A&Es in an exchange with Secretary of State Steve Barclay in the House of Commons on Monday.

She called on the Health Secretary to meet her and other Shropshire MPs to address the crisis which has led one local doctor to describe A&E as “like a war zone”.

It comes after Shropshire was given the lowest amount from the Government’s emergency winter discharge fund despite having some of the worst bed-blocking rates in the country.

In recent months around one in five hospital beds in Shrewsbury and Telford have been filled by patients fit enough to be discharged.

Meanwhile, in December, 8,000 ambulance hours were lost due to paramedics having to wait to hand over patients to the emergency departments in Shrewsbury and Telford.

The longest wait for a Category 2 call in Shropshire was 22 hours and 29 minutes and the average wait in the Oswestry area for Category 2 was more than two hours, despite the target response time being 18 minutes. Category 2 calls include patients who have suffered suspected heart attacks and strokes.

Mrs Morgan said: “Shropshire has some of the longest ambulance and A&E waiting times in the country so I’m glad the Health Secretary has agreed to meet with me and other local MPs to discuss how this situation can be improved.

“Seriously ill patients in Shropshire wait far longer for ambulances and A&E treatment than patients elsewhere in the country, so it’s really important the Government recognises the extreme local pressure when it comes to tackling the wider NHS crisis.

“Our hospital wards, GP surgeries and care homes have been crying out for help for months and months and months. Hopefully Steve Barclay will now listen and start providing the long overdue support that Shropshire’s beleaguered NHS needs.”