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Powys patients priority in hospital shakeup

Stock Picture of a hospital (Pic: RDNE Stock Project via Pexels)

HOSPITAL patients in mid Wales should not be ignored – that was the message from the government advisory body after approving hospital shakeup proposals for Shropshire.

After four years of delays the Shropshire and Telford NHS Trust’s Hospitals Transformation Programme was given the go ahead by a government advisory body.

Plans to progress the scheme were on hold after Telford and Wrekin leader Shaun Davies wrote to the Health Secretary in March 2023 asking for the case to be referred to an independent body, claiming a “significant expansion in the provision of healthcare in Powys” meant it was incorrect to include the needs of mid Wales residents when making decisions about healthcare in Shrewsbury and Telford.

A business case for a “Health Hub” and a proposed new hospital facility in Newtown is due to be submitted to the Welsh Government in the summer.

But the report delivered by the government’s Independent Reconfiguration Panel recommends that the region’s hospital reorganisation should now go ahead as planned.

“Powys patients will continue to need access to emergency and planned care in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and the NHS Trust’s data modelling has considered all activity, including from Powys, to determine future demand for their services which is included in the outline business case,” it said.

“The Panel concludes that the approach and evidence set out in the NHS Trust’s strategic outline case and outline business case to consider the needs of the population of mid-Wales remains correct and in line with national guidance on cross-border healthcare.”

The report added that Powys Teaching Health Board plans to repatriate certain services to north Powys include low complexity day cases, diagnostics and outpatient servicesbut were constrained to what could be provided in a “community hospital setting.”

The panel made the recommendation that: “The healthcare needs of the residents of mid Wales must continue to be considered as part of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Transformation Programme.”

Powys Teaching Health Board has been contacted for comment.

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