Covid-19: Shropshire hospital suspends routine ops to redeploy staff

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image captionSome staff at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital will be sent to help critical Covid patients in other parts of Shropshire

A hospital has suspended routine surgery so staff can be sent to other hospitals to treat critical Covid-19 patients.

The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), in Shropshire, said it had to respond to soaring cases of coronavirus.

Staff trained and experienced in acute and critical care will be sent to Shrewsbury and Telford.

Services such bone cancer treatment will still be carried out at RJAH.

Chief Executive Mark Brandreth said bosses did "not take lightly" the decision to suspend some services, but "must respond to the difficult situation the NHS currently finds itself in as Covid-19 cases continue to soar".

Some of those staff usually based in Gobowen, near Oswestry, will instead be sent to support the neighbouring Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

The latest figures from Public Health England show Shropshire and Telford have had among the biggest increases in England in the rate of new infections.

Shropshire had 457.4 new infections per 100,000 people in the week up to 7 January, compared with 253.8 for the week before - an 80% rise.

Over the same period, Telford's rate has increased from 298.0 to 547.1 - a rise of 84%.

RJAH said the suspension in its services would last until the end of January.

Mr Brandreth said it would continue as much of its regular activity as possible and those patients affected would be contacted directly.

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