Plans to upgrade acute hospital services to provide better quality care and fewer delays for treatment have been announced
Following confirmation of a formal approval, much needed plans to transform acute hospital services have moved a step forward by NHS England which will benefit Mid Wales. The upgrades are expected to improve health and care outcomes for communities across mid Wales, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
This follows confirmation of the formal approval, subject to a number of conditions, of a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) of the Hospitals Transformation Programme at the end of August 2022 by the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England’s Joint Investment Committee.
This is seen as a significant step which will see emergency (A&E) services strengthened in Shrewsbury and this is following years of debate and campaigning over Shropshire's hospitals.
The changes being made will mean that The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital will specialise in Emergency Care and The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford will become a planned care centre. Both sites are set to have a 24-hour urgent care centre.
Montgomeryshire MS Russell George and Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams have welcomed the upgrades but have also said they want to see some planned care implemented locally to prevent the need to travel out of county to see a consultant.
Commenting, Mr George said:
'It has taken a long time for us to reach this point, but I welcome the progress made and encourage the Trust and health services to continue working to deliver this transformation. The plans will vastly reduce current A&E waiting times at both hospitals, as well as ambulance turnaround periods.
It is very welcome news that the Womens and Children’s inpatient services will be moved back to Shrewsbury. I was very disappointed in it's original removal as it provides a vital services to women and children across Mid Wales.
I want to make it clear that it is also essential that some planned care is delivered locally in our local community hospitals in Llanidloes, Newtown, Welshpool and Machynlleth, to prevent the need to travel out of the county to see a consultant.'
Mr Willams added:
'Plans to redevelop services at both Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals have been long-awaited, and these changes will see Montgomeryshire benefit from better quality care and fewer delays for treatment, which is needed in our community.
‘It is imperative that the remaining investment is granted as soon as possible to allow construction to begin imminently, and myself and Russell will continue to push for this to be completed at pace.'