This morning, Lucy Allan MP and other Shropshire MPs met with key health stakeholders at a Ministerial Roundtable to discuss unacceptable ambulance waiting times in Shropshire.
Attendees included the host, Health Minister Ed Argar MP, the Chief Executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust, the Chief Executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service, the Interim CEO Designate for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS and the NHS England Director for Strategy and Transformation, Midlands.
Lucy took the opportunity to state how serious the ambulance delays had become, with many constituents facing dangerously unacceptable waits for ambulances. She also raised the challenge of accessing Teldoc services which meant that people had no option but to go to A&E and the knock-on effect this has for ambulances.
One of the key issues identified was the handover waits – many ambulances are forced to wait outside A&E for many hours with patients because they are unable to be admitted into hospital due to lack of capacity of both beds and staff due to delayed discharge. This in turn leads to crews being kept off the road and unable to respond to other patients.
A summit to be chaired by Sir Neil McKay, Chair of the Shropshire NHS Integrated Care System, will be held for all parties to find solutions to this issue.
Lucy Allan MP said:
Today’s meeting was an opportunity to again raise concerns of constituents about the very serious ambulance waiting times they have experienced recently and the difficulties in accessing NHS care because critical gateways, such as local GPs, are so hard to access.
The Health Minister Ed Argar has committed to visiting Telford and the Princess Royal this summer to see the situation for himself. He has been particularly supportive of our hospital and the campaign to retain A&E at the Princess Royal. The Minister made clear that the Shropshire health system is firmly on his radar and he is committed to helping to resolve the challenges that it faces. I am grateful to him for his support.
I look forward to the upcoming summit. It is crucial to work together cross-party to improve services for patients across Shropshire and to tackle the very significant local healthcare challenges by working constructively with all health providers.