We are not currently able to offer our usual catering service at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford as the kitchen and restaurant are currently closed, but I would like to reassure you all that we are doing all that we can to provide a hot meal service for patients.

This follows the identification of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in a kitchen area at the hospital and, as a precaution, we have closed the kitchen and Apley Restaurant.

Part of the work includes building a temporary kitchen and we hope to provide 95% of the hot meal options for our patients by the end of the week. We will be working on providing a full provision as soon as possible.

Whilst this work is continuing, alternative arrangements are in place for patients:

  • Patients on a normal diet will be receiving a choice of soups (all vegetarian); a selection of sandwiches; a selection of ham and vegetarian salads; yoghurts; mousse; ice cream; fruit; cheese and biscuits and snacks, which are cakes and biscuits.
  • Those with any dietary requirements will see no change in the menu.
  • For our younger patients on the PRH Children’s ward, we will also be providing, for example, fish fingers/chicken nuggets.

Caffe Bistro in the Women and Children’s Centre will be open Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 7.30pm or 9am to 4pm Saturday/Sunday and we have vending machines available across our hospital site.

We acknowledge that the current temporary food offer is not at the standard that we would want to provide, however, the safety of our patients and colleagues is paramount. We are working closely with NHS England and following guidance from the Institution of Structural Engineers. This is the guidance we have to follow and it was indicated a closure was required whilst we assess the area.

I would like to thank you for your understanding at this time and also thank all those colleagues who are working incredibly hard to resolve the situation.

This week, it was fantastic to welcome our first patients to the new Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC), which opened its doors at Hollinswood House in Stafford Park, Telford.

It means that patients who need non-urgent diagnostic tests or blood tests won’t have to go to a hospital and can be seen in the community. Services within the centre, which will open in phases, will be provided by my colleagues, including CT, non-obstetric ultrasound and MRI scans, blood tests and X-rays.

The next phase to open will be MRI in November followed by Cardio-respiratory testing and dermoscopy early in the new year.

Renal dialysis services will move to Hollinswood House from the Princess Royal Hospital later this year. It will create a better and more spacious environment for our lower risk dialysis patients to receive treatment.

Thank you to all my colleagues at the Trust and across the healthcare system, and our patients and the public, who have been involved in shaping this wonderful development.

Strike action involving consultants and junior doctors is taking place until tomorrow (5 October) and our Trust along with a number of other NHS trusts are affected.

We are working hard to deliver the best care possible during this time. Please continue to attend appointments as planned unless you are contacted to reschedule. If you have a life-threatening emergency, our emergency departments remain open 24 hours a day, so please continue to come forward as normal.

Please be aware that our hospitals, like the wider NHS and local health and care system, are really busy. If you have an urgent medical problem that isn’t an emergency and aren’t sure what to do, refer to NHS online (www.111.nhs.uk) first or call 111 – they will provide medical advice and direct you to the best care for your needs.