• Princess Royal Hospital in Telford will close from 8pm to 8am for at least six months
  • Chief executive says decision was “hardest [board] has ever had to make”
  • Patients diverted to Royal Wolverhampton Trust

A hospital trust will divert A&E attendees to a neighbouring organisation after its board signed off a temporary closure of its own unit at night.

Patients going to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford will instead be taken to the Royal Wolverhampton Trust, after concerns about safety.

The board of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust agreed to close the unit from 8pm to 8am each night on Thursday.

In a statement published yesterday, chief executive Simon Wright said the closure would stand for at least six months and any decision to reopen the unit would be based on “the ability to provide safe services.”

The trust’s decision comes amidst a public consultation in which it proposes moving emergency services to its Royal Shrewsbury Hospital site and basing an urgent care centre at the Princess Royal Hospital.

The news also comes after the Care Quality Commission served the trust with an enforcement notice earlier this month over the safety of its emergency services.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust saw 68.4 per cent of patients at its type one accident and emergency units within four hours in quarter one of 2018-19, compared to a national rate of 84.4 per cent and a target of 95 per cent.

The trust is currently subject to an independent review of its maternity services, which is looking into the care of more than 100 women and babies.

Mr Wright said: ”This is the hardest decision that we have ever had to make, but it is the right one to safeguard our patients in the current circumstances.

”I want to reassure everyone that we remain committed to providing the safest, kindest quality of care. We also remain committed in our efforts to recruit to our emergency departments, regardless of today’s decision.”

Proposals to reconfigure urgent and emergency care services in the region have been under discussion for several years.

Trusts with A&Es that close overnight have often not re-opened or closed altogether.