The county’s first Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) in Telford is already making a huge difference for our patients, and this week a fantastic new MRI scanner worth nearly £1.4 million was welcomed.

 The state-of-the-art scanner, which can be used to examine almost any part of the body, was lifted into place at Hollinswood House, Stafford Park, and will provide fast and detailed examinations for patients.

Our teams will begin to use the scanner later this month – it will be such a wonderful addition to the CDC, which opened its doors in October.

The CDC is one of the ways we are improving care for patients as it means they are getting quicker access to the tests and scans they need, and no longer have to make a trip to hospital.

Its ideal off-site location also creates a better and more spacious environment within the community, as well as being more accessible.

At this time of year, we see an increase in the number of COVID-19 and flu cases. As you are aware, our hospitals look after the most vulnerable in our communities and we have to do everything we can to protect them.

Could I remind you if you are visiting our hospitals to help keep our patients, staff and visitors safe, please ensure:

Hand washing:

  • Always clean your hands using soap and water or alcohol hand gel:
  • Before and after contact with a patient
  • Every time you enter or leave a patient’s room, or other wards.

Face masks:

  • When visiting the Emergency Department (ED), please consider wearing a face mask to protect yourself and others
  • If you want to wear a face mask when visiting other areas of our hospitals, face masks remain available at all hospital entrances and ward areas.

When not to visit:

Please protect our patients by not visiting someone in hospital if you have:

  • Flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, cold)
  • If you know you have COVID-19 or flu, or any other infections
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the last two days.

There are actions we can all take to help reduce the risk of catching infections and passing them on to others.

A career event is being held at Telford College for local schoolchildren tomorrow (Thursday). Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System is working collaboratively with Next Gen and Talent Foundry to deliver a series of immersive and interactive sessions and they have liaised with schools to find students who are interested in attending.

The event will highlight the breadth of NHS careers available to young people, demonstrate different routes into those careers and offer an opportunity for role models to positively influence the perception of NHS careers amongst young people.

It is an ideal opportunity to attract and recruit our future generation of health care professionals.

To bring a little bit of festive cheer to our patients and colleagues, decorations have been put at both our hospital sites.

At Princess Royal Hospital, we were joined by Emily Bowen, who, at just seven years old and a former patient, did us the honour of pressing the golden buzzer and switching on the lights. There was festive music and mince pies, which were very popular on what was a very chilly afternoon.

At the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital lights switch-on the torrential rain did not dampen the Christmas spirit as Inese Robotham, Assistant Chief Executive, did the honours.

A huge thank you to our Estates teams who have worked tirelessly to create such wonderful displays.