'Approve plans' urge Shropshire and Telford NHS executives

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Plans to reorganise some hospital services in Shropshire are being recommended for approval by NHS bosses.

Under the proposals, children's and maternity services would move from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

Campaigns have been started by those against the plans, including a 20,000-signature petition.

The chief executives of both trusts are recommending their boards vote in favour at a meeting on Thursday.

'Passion'

Both trusts have said the proposals were in patients' interests.

Shrewsbury hospital serves patients from the town and parts of Wales and moving its services would make it less accessible for them, protesters have said.

Head and neck services would also be based in Telford under the plans.

A midwife-led maternity unit suitable for low-risk pregnancies and acute in-patient abdominal and vascular surgery would be based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

But Leigh Griffin, chief executive of NHS Telford and Wrekin, said the public consultation, which ended on Friday, has helped them understand all the issues people are concerned about.

He said more than 1,000 people answered their questionnaire about the changes and about 54% "signalled their support" for the plans and about 42% "opposed or strongly opposed" them.

"So clearly there is passion, 2,000-people plus attended public meetings, we've had a number of petitions," he said.

"But the detail of that feedback helps us understand what the specific issues are, where further work would be required if the board accept that these be approved for implementation."

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