Page last updated at 18:43 GMT, Friday, 30 October 2009

Surgery move proposals discussed

Princess Royal Hospital
Shropshire PCT wants to move major vascular surgery to Shrewsbury

Shropshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) has backed plans to move major vascular surgery from a hospital in Telford to one in Shrewsbury to improve services.

A health care review said unless changes were made service levels would fall due to costs and staffing issues.

The PCT has decided to move surgery from the Princess Royal Hospital to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where most of the surgery is already being done.

NHS Telford and Wrekin will meet on Monday to discuss the joint proposals.

'Time pressure'

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust met on Thursday to discuss the joint plans.

It decided that while concentrating surgery at the Royal Shrewsbury would be desirable in the long term, the services could not be transferred quickly without holding a full public consultation, which it said would take too long.

It decided instead to support plans to employ an extra surgeon at The Princess Royal and for that hospital to participate in a Shropshire wide surgery rota, so that it could benefit from a wider pool of staff.

All three hospital trusts met at the joint overview and scrutiny committee for Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Councils on Friday afternoon.

'One mind'

The committee has a statutory responsibility to check that council's carry out their responsibilities properly.

It also backed the extra surgeon and pooled rota option, which would leave surgery being performed at both hospitals.

Councillor Derek White, chairman of Telford & Wrekin Council's health overview scrutiny, said: "It was important that all members were of one mind and that services must not be changed without proper consultation."

A health care review report was presented to all three trusts earlier in 2009 which revealed that current service levels in areas such as accident and emergency and major surgery could not be maintained at The Princess Royal Hospital due to rising costs and fewer general surgeons being available as more surgeons chose to specialise.



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