Planning applications for changes to the hospital buildings in Shrewsbury are currently being considered by Shropshire Council, with consultation events taking place for nearby residents impacted.
The plans, knows as the 'Future Fit' 'hospital transformation process', will see major changes provided in the services delivered at the two hospitals managed by Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) – Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) Telford.
Under the proposals RSH becomes home to the county’s only full 24-hour A&E, and also takes on consultant-led women and children’s services, which move over from PRH.
PRH in turn becomes a centre for planned care, while both hospitals will have urgent treatment centres and Telford also gets an 'A&E Local'.
Councillor Alex Wagner, who represents residents in the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital area of Shrewsbury, has now signalled his support for proposals, having recently met local residents and NHS bosses.
Councillor Wagner, who will also be the Liberal Democrat candidate for Shrewsbury & Atcham at the next general election, said: "It is clear that further political division over hospital plans will only seek to hold up a much-needed investment in local healthcare worth over £300 million.
“Our local NHS is under enormous pressure, with the worst A&E wait times in England. The status quo is not sustainable, and investment can’t keep being held up by politicians arguing.
“There is a clear clinical case for moving ahead quickly to get the best deal for patients, with many common-sense changes included in proposals. There is a strong argument that this will help with recruitment issues.
“Local residents at events I have attended seem content with the local impact of the plans, especially given the additional parking that will be provided at RSH.
“Shrewsbury specialising in emergency care makes sense given the huge rural hinterland our hospital covers. I hope that in tandem with the 52 extra beds and £21.4 million announced last month, this will get us off the bottom of the league table.”