We have recently opened two Rehabilitation and Recovery Units at our hospital sites to help reduce health and care pressures across the county and boost the recovery of patients.

This innovative new service is to ‘bridge the gap’ between hospital and home, providing appropriate care for people who need support to recover from illness or injury after a stay in hospital but no longer need to be in an acute hospital bed.

It is fantastic to see it in operation and these new units will help to alleviate pressure at both our emergency departments (EDs).

The additional capacity will also reduce delays for patients awaiting planned operations by freeing up inpatient beds reserved for post-operation recovery.

Care at the units is delivered by Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust and will provide general rehabilitation for people who are frail and elderly, or require specialist rehabilitation, for example people who have had a stroke, or broken hips.

The units will free up hospital beds for those that really need them, which will be of benefit to all our patients.

Our hospitals are still under pressure and we, along with other health and care partners, are urging the community to play their part with the Think Which Service Campaign, which aims to help you to know where to get the right advice, support and treatment for your health needs as quickly as possible.

You can also visit NHS 111 online or call 111 if you need urgent medical help or consider visiting your local Minor Injury Unit in Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Oswestry and Whitchurch. These can provide rapid treatment for injuries and illnesses that don’t require emergency hospital care.

Despite the challenges, urgent and emergency care services at both the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford remain open for anyone who needs them. Please do continue to come forward.

For further information about Think Which Service, visit: http://thinkwhichservice.co.uk/.

Do you have any walking aids, such as crutches, walking sticks and walking frames, that you no longer use? If so, we have introduced a new initiative at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital so they can be re-used.

Designated purple collection wheelie bins are available inside the outpatients’ entrance of the hospital on Mytton Oak Road, so the walking aids can be conveniently dropped off.

We encourage patients to return these items, as they will benefit other patients in need once they have been checked and refurbished. It will also save the Trust up to £46,000 annually and reduce our carbon footprint.

Plans are in progress for a similar scheme at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

We are also interested in finding out how you would like to connect with your hospitals as our Trust has a strong commitment to involving patients and the public in the planning and delivery of services.

The Trust’s Community Engagement team is running a new survey to find out how you like to be involved.

The survey is available here: https://bit.ly/CSPR01 and closes at the end of January.