Shropshire Star

Call for hospital chiefs to reveal name for downgraded Telford A&E service

A council leader has called for health chiefs to reveal what they will call the new downgraded A&E department at the Princess Royal Hospital.

Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies outside the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford

The NHS is currently implementing their Future Fit proposals which would see the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) downgraded from having a fully functioning A&E department.

Under the health authority’s £312 million transformation of the two acute hospitals run by the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) critical care will only be carried out at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

An Independent Reconfiguration Panel ruled in January that transformation plans at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital can continue.

Councillor Shaun Davies said that this came after almost a year of the council requesting the decision to close the Princess Royal Hospital’s A&E to be reconsidered.

The council’s leader said the independent panel, who conducted their review virtually, ‘were very clear’ that the term ‘Accident & Emergency Local’ should not be used as he said it “undermines clinical safety and patient understanding.”

He said that the council ‘immediately’ wrote to the government and local health bosses asking them to confirm that they would no longer use the term ‘A&E Local’ because of the independent panel’s concerns.

“Despite almost three months passing I have not had the courtesy of a response from the government, which is not surprising considering how chaotic things are at the moment,” said councillor Davies.

“But I am deeply distressed and disappointed that despite conversations with NHS leaders locally they have still not come forward with confirmation that they will not use the words ‘A&E Local’ formally.

“More importantly they have not said that they are going to come up with a new title for that downgrade of the A&E department.

“This is something that really matters to our residents in Telford & Wrekin.”

Councillor Davies added that this came after 20,000 people signed a petition, which he delivered to Downing Street, calling for plans to be scrapped for the downgrading of the A&E services at the Princess Royal Hospital.

“This con-trick of making people think we’re going to keep an A&E because it’s called ‘A&E Local’ has been called out by an independent panel,” added councillor Davies.

“Yet our health bosses who are at the end of the day civil servants, they don’t work for a political party, have not come forward with that response.”

Councillor Davies added that the council are chasing the response to ask local health bosses and the government to ‘confirm what the downgraded A&E facility will be called’.

SaTH has been asked for a response to the comments made.