** “This is not the downgrade of PRH by the backdoor.” SaTH Chief Executive Simo

** “This is not the downgrade of PRH by the backdoor.” SaTH Chief Executive Simon Wright Hits Back at Council Claims. **

“The safety of our patients is our first priority and unless the number of doctors we have for our A&E Departments improves, we will have to take action later this year to temporarily suspend A&E services at PRH overnight.

“The fragility of emergency care was a major issue when the NHS Future Fit programme started in 2014 and the staffing fragilities have worsened since then.

“I wrote an open letter in January 2016 in which I explained about the fragility of our A&E Departments at PRH and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. This has been a consistent theme at our Board meetings, at meetings of Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council’s Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee and in the media.

“We have tried to improve staffing, including holding discussions with neighbouring Trusts across the area in the hope of seeking support to maintain adequate staffing to retain two 24-hour A&Es. We have also advertised for two joint Consultant posts with another hospital. We also approved the appointment of a further two locum Consultants until substantive appointments can be made.

“We need to plan now before we reach a crisis point. Our paper proposes that we start planning for an overnight suspension of A&E services at PRH. We will continue to review this, taking every step possible to avoid suspending these services, but if we are unable to recruit or ensure stability for our A&E Departments within six months, we will unfortunately need to take action to safeguard our patients.

“This is not the downgrade of PRH by the backdoor. We absolutely do not want to take this action, which is why we’re not making a final decision for six months. This plan means that we can step back at any point over the next six months if the situation improves.

“This is not being done on a whim. We have been very clear publicly – and in meetings with councils, commissioners and the wider public – about the pressures our Urgent and Critical Care system is under. We have been very clear that we have explored all the options open to us and that, having ruled many out, this is the only option that is left open to us to ensure the safe care of all of our patients, no matter where they come from. We have talked about this at length in the councils’ Health Overview and Scrutiny meetings, our Board meetings and at meeting of the local A&E Delivery Group.

“This will give us more time to try to recruit the Consultants or Locums that we need to prevent us having to take the action outlined in the Board paper to close A&E at PRH overnight.

“Over the next six months we will work closely with our doctors and other frontline staff to ensure the safety of our service. We will also work with our health partners, including Healthwatch, the Community Health Council, the police and ambulance services and other patient representative groups over the coming months to ensure people are involved in the implementation of this plan.

“We are taking definitive leadership in opening this issue up for discussion publicly and no stakeholder can honestly say that they were not aware of this risk.

“We are not committing to a change. Rather, we are preparing in case a change is needed without a crisis having to be introduced.”

9 thoughts on “** “This is not the downgrade of PRH by the backdoor.” SaTH Chief Executive Simo

  • March 30, 2017 at 6:01 am
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    Why close it over night when other services are not available? Why close prh and not Shrewsbury? Will you continue to attempt to recruit consultants to cover prh in the 6 months before the final future fit decision? I doubt it. Therefore it is indeed downgrade by the backdoor.

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  • March 30, 2017 at 7:01 am
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    It definitely is though…. I agree it saves money, covers staffing, other areas have been doing this for years, but why PRH and not RSH?

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  • March 30, 2017 at 8:23 am
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    It is. Shropshire is being let down, we need both sites to serve our county correctly!

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  • March 30, 2017 at 10:12 am
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    the current model lets down patients and staff. Something has to change to attract staff to work in the area. If we keep going as we are it will only get worse. Would be interested to understand why prh and not rsh to close over night? Especially given women & children unit and Telford and allegedly must be with an A&E?

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  • March 30, 2017 at 10:50 am
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    Walk in drs closing and prh to close over night. Are you going to provide more drs at Shropdoc to help see people out of hours ? More houses are being built in Telford . That’s more people who will need a and e at some point in their lives.

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  • March 30, 2017 at 8:19 pm
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    Where do you take a child if there is an emergency at night? Shrewsbury told us to go to Telford because all children’s staff are there but if no A&E do you now in fact go to Shrewsbury despite there being no paediatricians?

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  • March 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm
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    It definitely is . I just hope you are able to sleep well when someone died due to your ridiculous decision!!

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  • March 30, 2017 at 10:39 pm
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    Certain situations/conditions tricky. Because of our daughters history and the sudden onset of her symptoms we’ve been advised by A&E doctors to always ‘bring her in’ ourselves if concerned but not necessarily to call 999 depending on the severity. So in that situation I wondered where to go? That’s the advice given to us by a number of doctors in A&E, they did not say to try urgent care in our situation. I understand 999 for a child emergency is the right message to give out though. However I also think it should be clear to parents which A&E to head to if need be.

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  • March 30, 2017 at 10:55 pm
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    Statistically which A&E is busier overnight? Surely it makes more sense to close the A&E which is quieter and use all resources in the open one if this is the last resort? Neither should close or be downgraded and you’ve got to ask why is the SaTH in such a state recruitment wise? Where do all the consultants/ doctors go? We all pay tax & n.i to cover basics such as emergency care and as a town/ county we are being let down with strained sub standard services when other areas of the country arent? Does the future fit programme also look into incompetence to hire enough staff by the bosses who want to close the A&E??

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