Protesters holding placards outside NHS emergency department

Keep both A&Es demand people across Shropshire and Telford towns

28th November 2022

Shropshire and Telford people have made it abundantly clear the need to keep both fully functioning A&Es at Princess Royal, Telford and Royal Shrewsbury hospitals as - as both are today.

Shropshire Green Party 'Healthy Greens' group asked over 1500 people across 11 towns; in Bishop's Castle, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Shrewsbury, Telford, Wem and in Whitchurch. Over 11 towns, 96.3% of participants said 'YES' when asked 'Should both Shrewsbury A&E and Telford A&E remain fully functioning A&Es ?'. The lowest was 92.7%.

Senior nurse Clare Nash, Co-lead of 'Healthy Greens' says, " Chair Sir Ian McKay, Chief Exec. Simon Whitehouse and Board members of Shropshire Telford and Wrekin NHS must recognise and respond to the consistent and strong message from people across Shropshire who demand both RSH and PRH keep fully functioning A&Es ".

"The forever 'Future Fit' plan to downgrade Telford A&E into a yet to be defined 'A&E Local' will result in acutely unwell patients from Telford areas being 'blue-lighted' to Shrewsbury - a journey time that could take upwards of 25 minutes depending on road conditions."

"The lives and optimal recovery of critically ill or injured patients will be at serious risk if they are forced to travel to the West side of Shrewsbury to the only A&E in the plans for the whole of Shropshire."

Shropshire Councillor Julia Evans, a former senior nurse says, " We just went and asked people, out and about, in 11 Shropshire and Telford area towns 'Should both Shrewsbury A&E and Telford A&E remain fully functioning A&Es ?'. People even asked us why on Earth we were bothering to ask such a
question ! "

"Telford has a growing population of over 186,00 people (Census 2021) while Shrewsbury has about 77,000. Both principal towns have dispersed and dependent communities in market towns, villages, hamlets or even more remote populations and must get to their nearest A&E when their condition is critical."

Clare Nash adds, "As we were told by many people during our surveys " In an emergency every second counts ! ".

'Healthy Green' contributor Pat McCarthy states, "Both A&E's have not met the national target to 'treat, transfer or discharge' 95% of A&E attendees within 4 hours for years, mainly because, as now widely recognised, not enough clinical staff, not enough free beds because of not enough available social care provision for safe discharge for recovering patients. So how only one A&E in Shrewsbury will deliver the real emergency care whenever we need it is worryingly uncertain."

"The 'Future Fit' A&E patient is not well enough to leave intensive care, let alone clinically fit to be discharged into the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin health system."

Hilary Wendt, Coordinator for South Shropshire Green Party adds, "The formal public consultation in 2018 was an affront to the intelligence of Shropshire and Telford people and openly biased in the way in which the two main questions were presented. The consultation question only asked where people want a single A&E - Shrewsbury or Telford ? We, the (very) patient public were never invited nor allowed the opportunity to say if just one A&E was ever acceptable for a rurally dispersed population of half a million people. Again 'consultation' become something of a dirty word."

"Princess Royal Hospital for the Telford and Wrekin area was opened in 1988 (population then about 120,000) correctly predicting the increase on Telford's population by 55% to today and still growing. Our Shropshire-wide NHS would be failing its duty of care, enshrined in the NHS Constitution, to the people of Shropshire if it were to close the fully functioning Telford A&E. People's lives and best recovery will be at risk "

In the press

Survey shows strong support for keeping both A&Es in Shropshire Shropshire Star 28 November 2022

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