May bank holiday weekend is approaching and I would like to encourage you to ‘Think which service’ should you need any health care during this time.

Our emergency departments (EDs) continue to be extremely busy but more so during bank holidays. EDs are for genuinely life-threatening emergencies – for example chest pains or severe bleeding or burns. If you have a life-threatening illness or injury, please continue to dial 999.

If it is not an emergency then please contact NHS 111 or use the other options available to you, such as community pharmacies and Minor Injury Units located at Whitchurch, Bridgnorth, Oswestry and Ludlow. More details on which healthcare services are on offer can be found at

Looking at the options available to you ensures that you get the right help at the right time should you need any health care.

I hope you all manage to have some free time with your friends and loved ones over the bank holiday weekend.

We realise how difficult the car parking situation is for patients, visitors and colleagues at both our hospital sites and we are committed to improving it.

Car parking for patients and visitors is prioritised throughout any building works taking place over the next few years at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Princess Royal Hospital.

Park and Rides for both hospital sites have been introduced for colleagues and we are encouraging all staff, who can, to use the Park and Ride to free up space for patients and shift-working colleagues, who need them most.

Work is taking place at RSH as part of enabling works for the Hospitals Transformation Programme, the building of a LINAC bunker and Gamma camera unit.

I would like to thank my colleagues and our communities for their ongoing support and patience as we work to make our vision of two thriving hospitals a reality.

Last month, the Critical Care Garden at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital was reopened after extensive work to improve access for patients, thanks to the support of SaTH Charity.

The kind donations of William Dodd’s family to SaTH Charity enabled works to the Critical Care Garden to be undertaken.

The local butcher died in September last year after spending 11 weeks on the ITU ward battling an illness.

Mr Dodd was an avid gardener and loved the outdoors, but he wasn’t able to experience the garden fully himself. His family raised over £6,500 last year with the aim of improving the garden for critically ill patients to provide them with the opportunity to get outside in the fresh air.

We would like to thank Mr Dodd’s family for their fundraising efforts and their generosity – it is an exceptional thing you have done and will enable other patients to enjoy the garden.