August 30, 2022
A vital program that will transform acute hospital services and improve the health and care of communities in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales has come a long way.
The Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS England Joint Investment Committee have formally endorsed the Strategic Case (SOC) submitted by Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) for the reconfiguration of acute hospital services, under subject to a number of conditions that will be addressed when developing the business case during the next stage of the Hospital Transformation Program (HTP).
The announcement was hailed as an ‘exciting step forward’ as it means the long-awaited plans to redevelop services at the two acute hospital sites, Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in Shrewsbury, can continue to progress.
The Hospital Transformation Agenda
Excellent planned care services
HTP will create a dedicated planned care site at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH), Telford, which will provide direct benefits to patients, including:
- Fewer cancellations and delays for operations
- Reduced wait times for cancer care
- A better patient experience
Simplified and efficient emergency services
The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) site will specialize in emergency care, which will benefit patients through immediate access to specialist medical and surgical teams based at the same location.
The creation of a dedicated emergency service for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin will help ensure that:
- Patients are seen faster by the most appropriate specialist teams
- Patients benefit from faster diagnosis and shorter hospital stays
- Improved patient flow, with shorter patient wait times and faster ambulance transfer times
24/7 emergency care services
The Telford and Shrewsbury sites will provide 24-hour emergency care services, providing better access for assessment and treatment of a wide range of illnesses and injuries.
Telford will benefit from a new urgent care service, an A&E Local model, staffed by a multidisciplinary team of health, care and community professionals. This is a significant improvement to urgent care services in Telford and means that around two-thirds of patients currently being treated at Telford’s A&E service will continue to receive the care they need at their most local hospital. .
Services for women and children
Inpatient services for women and children will be based in Shrewsbury, ensuring high-risk maternity cases and children admitted under the care of specialist paediatricians, immediate access to on-site medical and surgical specialists and other experts at the emergency site.
The two hospital sites will provide a range of outpatient and scanning assessment and maternity services, as well as midwifery-led birthing units for low-risk births. This means that the majority of pregnant women will continue to receive their antenatal and postnatal care at the site closest to their home.
Wide range of services remaining local
In addition to urgent care services, the two sites will provide a wide range of common services including testing (diagnostics such as x-rays), outpatient appointments and day chemotherapy.
Nicholas White, chief medical officer at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System, said: “This is an exciting step forward for our overall vision to improve health and wellbeing in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.
“The provision of PH will play an important role in enabling our health and care services to meet the needs of our population, now and in the future. This investment will enable us to raise standards, which means that if people need access to hospital services, they receive the best care possible.
Dr John Jones, Executive Medical Director (acting) of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “The Hospital Transformation Agenda represents a model of care that was designed, led and supported by our clinicians from the start. This will ensure that our services are much more resilient, reduce cancellations and delays, and ensure patients are seen faster by specialist teams.
“This is a major milestone that will enable us to deliver better health outcomes and a significantly improved care experience for our communities.”
Louise Barnett, chief executive of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “This is great news for our communities, as it brings us one step closer to improving our hospital services that we desperately need. This new model of care will address major challenges posed by duplicated and fragmented services and aging infrastructure – issues that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“HTP supports our vision for our communities to benefit from excellent local services, including a modern emergency department that provides immediate access to medical and surgical specialties, setting new national standards for the delivery of improved emergency care through to our A&E Local model in Telford and supporting our long term ambitions to become a recognized leader in the provision of day care services.