Shropshire

Telford Princess Royal Hospital A&E closure fears

Princess Royal Hospital, Telford Image copyright Google
Image caption Princess Royal Hospital in Telford may lose its A&E, campaigners fear

A hospital's A&E department could close along with its £28m women and children's centre which opened two years ago, campaigners fear.

They say the move at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital could be made as part of a review of Shropshire's health care.

Gill George, Shropshire Defend our NHS chair, said it would be "life-threatening" for some patients forced to travel 18 miles to Shrewsbury's A&E.

NHS bosses said they were appraising things but had not made a decision.

This was "months away", they said.

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The NHS Future Fit programme was launched in 2014 to review the health system across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and mid-Wales, and is set to finish in spring 2017.

The Defend Our NHS group said a decision to close the A&E and have a single department for the county at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital was taken at a "non-financial appraisal" meeting on Friday.

Ms George said: "An area of this size needs both A&Es and both hospitals, and we have opposed the closure of either A&E. But this is a particularly catastrophic outcome for people in Telford and Wrekin who are going to face journeys of over 18 miles in a medical emergency."

Campaigners say all planned care, such as routine surgery and cancer care, will be at Telford, meaning most people in Shropshire and Powys will face "unacceptable journey times".

Image copyright SATH NHS
Image caption The Women and Children's Centre opened in Telford in September 2014

An NHS Future Fit spokesman said the findings of two appraisals would go before its board next month. This would then make a recommendation to the Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups.

"The NHS Future Fit programme still has a long way to go before a final decision is made. This includes a full public consultation that will run for a minimum of 12 weeks," he said.

Telford & Wrekin Council's Leader Shaun Davies said the proposals "make absolutely no sense" and the authority would consider seeking a judicial review if the decision was confirmed.

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