The Chief Executive of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has welcomed a decision by commissioners to support Trust’s plans to address challenges in emergency and critical care.

The Board of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group today voted to support the Strategic Outline Case(SOC) of the Sustainable Services Programme, presented by SaTH, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

It follows Telford & Wrekin CCG backing the SOC in May. The SOC was approved by SaTH’s Board on 31 March 2016.

Simon Wright, Chief Executive of SaTH, said: “We welcome this decision by the Shropshire CCG, which is an important step in progressing these plans.

Following the joint meeting of the two CCGs in May, it was clear there were still some concerns to address and we are delighted that we have been able to do so sufficiently to allow our colleagues in Shropshire to support our case.

“Our Strategic Outline Case describes our plans to address the significant challenges to the safety and sustainability of patient services specifically in Emergency and Critical Care.

“A single site for the county’s emergency department is the best way to ensure our patients receive safe and dignified care in the right place at the right time and that we continue to attract the best doctors and nurses and have facilities which are fit for the 21st century.

“We know people are concerned that having one emergency centre means greater waiting times. But there are already hidden delays that currently exist because of the way our hospital services are delivered. Each of our hospitals specialises in different areas and these changes are saving lives. More people are getting faster access to expert clinical opinion than ever before.

“Our SOC is not the final plan for our future, but rather a relatively brief preliminary document which contains the information we need to support an informed decision as we move towards an Outline Business Case.”