Shropshire Star

Future Fit: Hope that hospitals transformation programme will help boost recruitment

Health bosses say that having specialist teams working in the same hospital will help with the recruitment of staff.

How the new building at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital could look. Image: AHR Architects

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is currently submitting its outline business as part of a £312 million Hospitals Transformation Programme, also known as Future Fit.

Plans will see emergency care services delivered in a specialist department at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Consultant-led maternity care along with in-patient services for women and children will also form part of the new Shrewsbury building.

Meanwhile, construction is under way on a £24m planned care hub in Telford which bosses say will improve theatres and recovery areas.

Doctor Ed Rysdale, consultant in emergency medicine and clinical director for the Hospitals Transformation Programme, says that having the emergency services in one site will also help boost recruitment.

“It works far better to deliver critical care having all the specialists together on one site,” said Mr Rysdale.

“We are doing this for a lot of good reasons, there is massive clinical support and we’re not the first trust to do this. It’s a case of the right place for the right care. We want to make care better and it’s all about the best care for patients.

“Having rehabilitation in Telford will keep the flow going in Shrewsbury hospital. Also when people are in rehabilitation they will be in a more stable environment. Splitting planned care from emergency care is also good for patients’ care.”

The planning application for a new 30,000 square metre building at the Princess Royal Hospital was submitted to Shropshire Council in July.

The new building would link to a re-modelled and expanded A&E department which is going to be the subject of ‘enabling work’ starting this autumn.

Since the hospital plans were revealed in July a total of 41 public comments have been made and 39 of them are objections.

Matthew Neale, director of hospitals transformation programme, said that they are now collating feedback from the comments made and during consultation sessions.

“Some of the comments are not planning, so there are certain things we can’t address,” said Mr Neale.

“The car parks are regularly full between 9am and 5pm and we are dealing with parking provision in the Transformation Programme.

“As a consequence of the comments we are having focus groups and engagement sessions will carry on through the process.”

He added that the transport focus group would run for the next two-and-a-half to three years.

Doctor Rysdale says that the first stage of planning process for the Shrewsbury hospital has been clinical-led rather than patient-led.

He said they would now be working with patients on other parts of the plans.

As part of the Hospitals Transformation Programme, urgent care services will continue at both Shropshire hospitals

Mr Rysdale said that around 65 per cent of those that access A&E services in Telford will continue to do so.

Those that after being assessed that need to be admitted to Shrewsbury will then be done so by ambulance.

“We envision having two busy sites doing different things,” added Mr Rysdale.

Once the transformation programme is completed, non-complex in-patient surgery will be carried out at Telford along with planned operations.

Mr Rysdale hopes that having the planned operations at a separate site to emergency care will also result in fewer cancelled operations.