Update on A&E rescue plan

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) is planning to close its doors to patients seeking emergency and urgent care at night unless they are able to recruit additional Middle Grade Doctors and Registered A&E Nurses.

If the closure goes ahead, the A&E would close from 8.00pm to 8.00am. There are no plans for an imminent closure and no date has been set. SaTH are currently working with MPs and councillors as well as representatives from NHS England to find ways to avoid this closure.In a bid to keep the A&E open, Telford’s MP haswritten to Health Education England to persuade them to allocate the Trust two Middle Grade Doctors and has asked NHS Improvement to encourage other nearby Trusts to each provide one of their Middle Grade Doctors to SaTH. Ms Allan has also written to the Secretary of State Matt Hancock MP asking him to support this request.

Today Lucy Allan met with Minister of State, Stephen Barclay MP, in Parliament to discuss measures to keep A&E open at night.

Lucy Allan said:

‘I was pleased to meet with the Minister of State and to be able to ensure he understands how important this issue is to my constituents. I was concerned that Hospital bosses have, in their discussions with NHS Improvement and the Department of Health, been downplaying the impact of these proposals on the Telford community. The Minister had been told that only 12 people per night would be affected by these closures.

‘I made clear to the Minister that if this situation is not resolved, it could jeopardise Future Fit. Even if Future Fit is agreed in the near future, it is still years from implementation. What will happen to Telford patients in the meantime? My constituents cannot be left without emergency and urgent care at night indefinitely. Future Fit cannot be the solution to the problem until it has been implemented.

‘On a more positive note we were able to explore ways of sourcing more Middle Grade Doctors and nurses, including from overseas. The Minister rightly made the point that any transfers or loans of staff would need to be voluntary and the Trust would need to provide the appropriate incentives.

‘I will continue to work with Ministers and all local stakeholders to ensure that SaTH secures the additional staff they need to avoid the overnight closure.’