• Reconfiguration of services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust have been given the go ahead by commissioners
  • Proposals will downgrade one of the trust’s two A&E departments and turn it into a planned care site.

Plans to reconfigure acute services in Shropshire, resulting in the downgrading of one A&E, have been given the green light by commissioners.

Telford and Wrekin, and Shropshire clinical commissioning groups have formally approved reconfiguration proposals for Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust.

The reconfiguration, approved yesterday following a public consultation, will downgrade the emergency department at the trust’s Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and turn it into a planned care site. The site will still house an urgent care centre.

The provider’s Royal Shrewsbury Hospital will become the main emergency care site.

The approval comes after long delays to the reconfiguration proposals, partly caused by strong public and political opposition.

It also comes after the trust received an “inadequate” rating by the Care Quality Commission in November, following a number of warnings from the regulator over the safety of the trust’s services, including the emergency department.

Due to safe staffing concerns, the trust announced proposals to temporarily close Telford’s accident and emergency overnight last November. However, those plans were abandoned

In March last year, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin sustainability and transformation partnership was awarded £312m to fund the reconfiguration.

According to the proposals, the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital will deliver emergency care, critical care, women and children’s inpatient services, complex surgery, and ambulatory care.

The Princess Royal Hospital will provide planned inpatient surgery, day case surgery, breast inpatient service, and medical wards.

Simon Freeman, accountable officer for Shropshire CCG said: “Our doctors, nurses and other health professionals strongly believe that hospital services have to change for the better and this view is shared by our regulator, NHS England.

“The new model of patient care also takes into account the expected changes in our population over the coming years and how the best care can be provided for everyone.… Now that the decision has been made, it will take several years for the programme to be completed.

“A significant amount of work will need to be done to implement the huge improvements that patients will experience.”