Mid Wales assembly member calling for local health care

Health care should be delivered in mid Wales community hospitals to prevent the need for people travelling out of county to see a consultant, Montgomeryshire's Welsh Assembly member says.

Russell George
Russell George

Russell George said last year's decision by the UK Government to approve plans to build a new A&E service in Shrewsbury was welcome, coming after years of debate and campaigning over Shropshire's hospital services.​

But he said he hoped that the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust would work in partnership with Powys Teaching Health Board to achieve care within Montgomershire going forward.

In 2019 plans were given the go-ahead to transform hospital services for the half a million residents of Mid Wales, Shropshire and Telford.​

Telford & Wrekin Council challenged the decision-making process and recommendations and formally referred the matter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who then asked an independent panel to look into the matter further before making a decision.​

Mr George said that with the Health ecretary deciding that thee "Future Fit" Board should proceed with the new emergency centre based in Shrewsbury alongside significant improvements in other types of care, it would represent an investment of over £300 million in world class critical and emergency care being invested in Shrewsbury.​

"This will be positive for us in Mid Wales as not only will we see life-saving emergency healthcare located in Shrewsbury, a more significant service than a standard A&E with the large investment that comes with it, but we will also see the return of the women and children’s consultant-led inpatient service to Shrewsbury," he said.​

"I think it’s also important to point out that both hospitals will continue to provide adult and children’s outpatients services and diagnostic tests as well as a 24-hour urgent care centre, day case renal unit and midwife-led unit.​

"It is also essential that some planned care is delivered locally in our local community hospitals in Llanidloes, Newtown, Welshpool and Machynlleth, to prevent the need to travel out of county to see a consultant. Going forward, I will be keen to understand how the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust will work in partnership with Powys Teaching Health Board to achieve this.

"Nevertheless, this decision is a milestone which marks the point where the Shrewsbury & Telford Hospitals Trust has begun to confront its challenges and make the necessary reforms which will allow it to attract top class consultants and clinicians. I am hugely encouraged by this decision which I hope will allow building works to commence on the Shrewsbury site for a new emergency centre by the end of 2020."

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