Safeguarding Emergency and Urgent Care in the County 

12 August 2013 

Local health bosses have confirmed that both the county’s main hospitals will continue to play a vital role in providing urgent and emergency care in future.

Trust Chief Executive Peter Herring said: “All of us want to be confident that we have access to the best possible health services in an emergency, for ourselves and for our family.

“This review aims to make sure that this continues to be the case across the urban and rural communities served by the Princess Royal and Royal Shrewsbury hospitals.”

Dr Caron Morton, Accountable Officer of NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “It is very clear that both the county’s main hospitals will need to continue to provide urgent and emergency care services in the future.

“It is also very clear that the NHS faces some challenges nationally and locally. We have a responsibility to the people of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to look in detail at those challenges and make sure that we have plans to ensure excellent and sustainable acute and community hospital services for the future.”

NHS Telford & Wrekin CCG Chief Officer David Evans said: “We know how important local hospitals are. That is why we need a debate with our patients and communities about the best shape of hospital services in the county. We also need to be guided by our clinicians who have expert knowledge about how to ensure we are offering our patients from our urban and rural communities the best outcomes, safety and experience.”

“One of the guiding principles for this review is to sustain two vibrant and well-balanced hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford.”

The commitment comes as part of a vital debate with patients and communities across the county about the best model of care for hospital services.

The debate is focusing on how to provide excellent and sustainable acute and community hospital services that meet the needs of both our urban and rural communities.

In hospitals across the country there is clear evidence that if patients have quicker access to senior clinical decision makers then this is better for their outcomes and their safety. The review aims to understand how local services measure up and what the gaps are in key areas such as:

  • Providing more consultant-delivered services operating seven days a week, with less reliance on junior and middle grade doctors.
  • Being able to invest in the latest technologies to ensure the best diagnosis and treatment for our patients, as duplication of services between hospitals can double the costs making vital investment more difficult or siphoning much needed resources away from other vital services.
  • Meeting the growing demands of an ageing society, with a rise in long-term conditions, and the vital importance of ensuring that services are available in the community to support people to maintain their independence and receive their care as close to home as possible rather than seeing finite public resources propping up a model of hospitals that needs to change.

Dr Caron Morton, Accountable Officer for Shropshire CCG, added: “Together, we all need to make sure that our health services are meeting national standards for the future.

“There are no simple solutions and that is why we are determined to involve the whole community in the debate, in order to come up with a model that meets the expectations and needs of both urban and rural communities.

“Over the coming weeks we will be developing plans so that patients and communities across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are fully engaged in shaping safe and sustainable services for the future.”

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