30 August 2022

A vital programme that will transform acute hospital services and improve health and care for communities across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales has taken a significant step forward.

The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England’s Joint Investment Committee has formally approved the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) submitted by Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) for the reconfiguration of acute hospital services, subject to a number of conditions that will be addressed as we develop the Outline Business Case during the next stage of the Hospitals Transformation Programme (HTP).

The announcement has been hailed as an ‘exciting step forward’, as it means that long awaited plans to redevelop services across the two acute hospital sites, the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in Shrewsbury, can continue to progress.

The Hospitals Transformation Programme

Excellent Planned Care Services

HTP will create a dedicated site for planned care at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford, which will bring direct benefits for patients including:

  • Fewer cancellations and delays for operations
  • Shorter waiting times for cancer care
  • Better patient experience

Streamlined and Effective Emergency Services

The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) site will specialise in emergency care, benefitting patients through immediate access to medical and surgical specialist teams based at the same location.

Creating one dedicated Emergency Department for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin will help to ensure that:

  • Patients are seen more quickly by the most appropriate specialist teams
  • Patients experience more rapid diagnosis and shorter hospital stays
  • Improved patient flow, with shorter patient waiting times, and faster ambulance handover times

24/7 Urgent Care Services  

Both the Telford and Shrewsbury sites will provide 24-hour urgent care services, providing improved access for the assessment and treatment of a wide range of illness and injuries.

Telford will benefit from a new urgent care service, an A&E Local model, staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of health, care and community professionals. This is a significant enhancement of urgent care services in Telford and means around two thirds of patients currently treated at Telford’s A&E department will continue to receive the care they need at their most local hospital.

Women and Children’s Services

Women and Children’s inpatient services will be based in Shrewsbury ensuring higher risk maternity cases and children admitted under the care of specialist paediatricians, have immediate access to on-site medical and surgical specialists and other experts at the emergency site.

Both hospital sites will provide a range of assessment and maternity outpatient and scanning services, along with midwife-led birthing units for low risk births. This means that the majority of expectant mothers will continue to receive their antenatal and postnatal care at the site closest to home.

Wide range of services staying local

In addition to urgent care services, both sites will provide a wide range of common services including testing (diagnostics such as X-rays), outpatients appointments and day case chemotherapy.

Nicholas White, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System, said: This is an exciting step forward for our overarching vision to improve health and wellbeing across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

“Delivering HTP will play a significant part in enabling our health and care services to meet the needs of our population, now and in the future. This investment will enable us to raise standards, meaning if people do need to access hospital services, they receive the best care possible.”

Dr John Jones, Executive Medical Director (Acting) at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “The Hospitals Transformation Programme represents a model of care that has been designed, led and supported by our clinicians from the outset. It will ensure our services are much more resilient, reduce cancellations and delays and ensure patients are seen more rapidly by specialist teams.

“This is a major milestone towards enabling us to deliver better health outcomes and a vastly improved experience of care for our communities.”

Louise Barnett, Chief Executive of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: This is fantastic news for our communities as it moves us another step closer to delivering the improvements to our hospital services that we so desperately need. This new model of care will address major challenges presented by duplicated and fragmented services and ageing infrastructure – issues which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“HTP supports our vision for our communities to benefit from excellent local services including a modern Emergency Department which provides immediate access to medical and surgical specialities, setting new national standards for the delivery of enhanced urgent care through our A&E Local model in Telford and supporting our long-term ambitions to become a recognised leader in the delivery of day case services.”