Retaining services at the Princess Royal
Since I was first elected, I have been making the case for Telford's Princess Royal to be the home of Shropshire & Powys' proposed new critical care emergency centre. As the years have gone by, no decision has been made and people have become more alarmed and more concerned about the future of our hospital.
I have raised this in Parliament and with the Secretary of State for Health and the Minister for Health repeatedly, as well as meeting regularly with the local decision makers, working with them in a constructive way to ensure Telford keeps the services we need locally. In addition, I have surveyed many thousands of residents to make sure their concerns are heard by local decision makers.
It appears that Princess Royal Hospital will not be the site of the new critical care/emergency unit serving Shropshire and Powys. It also appears this decision was made on geographical grounds, some years ago.
What we do know is that PRH will continue to have 24 hour walk in A&E and will continue to provide Women and Children’s Services. This was confirmed by the Health Minister and the Chief Executive of the hospital trust earlier this year. They also confirmed that Telford would become the new centre for surgery and routine operations as well as a cancer centre and a Community Diagnostic Hub.
You can see more details about what is planned for each hospital site below. This information has been produced by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust.
- Click here for more information about the Planned Care Site at PRH.
- Click here for more information about the Emergency Site at RHS.
The Council has wrongly claimed that both our A&E and Women and Children’s Centre are closing. This is untrue and is causing a lot of anger and upset amongst residents. Future Fit has failed to communicate with residents, so no one knew what was happening.
What is of very great concern is that the failure to reach any decision has affected recruitment of key staff. This has meant that our A&E is now genuinely at risk of temporary night time closures. This is a very serious issue which we cannot allow to happen simply because of the mismanagement of Future Fit and delays caused by Telford & Wrekin Council, threatening the NHS with legal action.
I will continue to work hard to ensure our hospital has 24 walk in A&E and Women and Children’s Services for the future, and in the immediate term we will fight any night time temporary closures.
This is simply unacceptable. This has been my top priority as Telford's MP and the fight goes on.
Improving access to GPs in Telford
I am very grateful to the Secretary of State for recognising the struggle my constituents have had when attempting to contact their GP. £250 million will be allocated to those GPs who are willing to offer face-to-face appointments to patients who seek one.
£10m is being made available by the Government to improve telephone systems and appointments. This is vital. Patients in Telford have struggled to join the queue when trying to contact Teldoc. If the phone system does not work, then patients have no access to Primary care. This has serious patient safety implications. Where a GP practice operates a local monopoly there is nothing a patient can do to get access to care by alternative means, other than visit A&E. In turn this creates more pressure on services at the Princess Royal.
I am confident that the Secretary of State for Health understands the barriers my constituents face and is responding promptly to this growing problem.
I regret that the BMA Union strongly opposed the Health Secretary's Winter plan to provide more funding for GPs, conditional on them seeing more patients in person.
Photo above: Lucy Allan MP at the Princess Royal Hospital