Lord Sahota raises concerns over impact of hospitals plan

Concerns over plans to re-organise Shropshire's emergency hospitals have been raised by the county's newest peer.

Lord Kuldip Sahota
Lord Kuldip Sahota

Lord Kuldip Sahota questioned the Conservative peer and Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Care, Lord Markham, over proposals for Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH).

The 'Future Fit' hospital transformation process is ongoing and has been the subject of lengthy delays and vocal opposition from Telford residents.

Under the plans PRH will become the county's centre of planned care, while RSH will be home to the county's main 24 A&E unit, and the focus of emergency treatment.

Both hospitals would however have minor injuries units, while PRH will also have an A&E local.

Consultant led women and children's services would move from PRH to RSH.

In his question Lord Sahota said: "My Lords, I declare that I am a councillor in Telford & Wrekin. Shrewsbury & Telford hospitals are under one health trust. The government plans to close 24/7 A&E services at Telford hospital which means that people will have to travel 15 miles to Shrewsbury in ambulances. This will put further pressure on our already overstretched ambulance services.

"Does the minister agree this will have a negative impact on the people of Telford & Wrekin?"

Responding Lord Markham rejected the suggestion and said he believed local health bosses would take the right decisions.

He said: "I am convinced that the ICS will make the best decisions for that area.

"I am very familiar with Sir Jim Mackey's plans, which advocate setting up so called hot and cold sites. It is often better to specialise in A&E in one area and 'cold' elective treatments in another, in order to have more efficient treatment in both.

"I would imagine that is very much part of the plan, which will see improvements in both A&E and elective services."

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