Panel quizzed over Shropshire hospital plans

Widespread concerns have been raised at a public meeting over plans to re-organise services at Shropshire's two main hospitals.

Princess Royal in Telford and Royal Shrewsbury hospitals would both keep their A&E departments but other services could be moved.

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust said the plans were in patients' interests.

The public and medical staff questioned a panel of health officials at the meeting on Thursday evening.

Under the plans announced last year, the trust would move the main maternity and in-patient paediatric services to Telford, along with the obstetric and neo-natal intensive care unit.

'Bring together'

Head and neck services would also be based at the hospital.

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.

The trust originally announced plans to move in-patient care for children and emergency surgery from Telford to Shrewsbury sparking anger from the public at the time.

Concerns raised at the meeting included, the distance people living in Mid-Wales would have to travel if services were moved to Telford.

The trust is the main provider of acute care in Mid-Wales as well as Shropshire.

Earlier this week, people who raised £500,000 for a cancer unit in Shrewsbury which opened six years ago said they were angry that it would be closed under the trust's plans.

Alison Davies-Friend, who helped fundraise as her daughter battled cancer, said she would fight with others to keep the unit open.

She attended the meeting on Thursday and said a campaign called "Save Our Children's Services" had been started on Facebook along with a petition.

The trust's chief executive Adam Cairns said earlier this week that he understood concerns but said patients would benefit from some services being on one site.

"I know this is difficult for everybody but we have got to make changes in the best interests of all patients, including the children, and if we can bring together all our experts on one single site, children will fair better," he said.

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