Ring NHS 111 over May Bank Holiday Weekend

Patients are reminded by NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that GP Practices will be closed over the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

GP Practices across the County will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday (6 May). There will be appointments under the extended access service for pre-bookable routine GP appointments. These are booked at a patient’s local practice and the appointment will be offered at a local GP hub so patients may not see their own GP.   

Pharmacies across Shropshire are also operating on a rota over the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

Full details of the pharmacy rota are available on the CCG’s web site www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk or by calling NHS 111.

NHS 111 is free to call from any landline or mobile and is open 24/7, including bank holidays. Trained advisors can help advise and direct you to the help and care you need including what to do if you need to see a doctor when your practice is closed as well as where your nearest pharmacy is.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “GP Practices will be closed over the Bank Holiday Weekend, but there is no need to worry if you need help and advice. Just call 111.

“You will be offered help and advice by NHS 111, which can also direct you to services if you can’t wait until your practice is open.”

Whittington Music Festival

It’s less than a month till our eagerly anticipated festival of music by Dvorak and the Bohemians!
If you haven’t ordered your tickets, now is the time to do so.
There are still a few numbered seats available for all six concerts in the reserved front section of the church, if you prefer to know where you’ll be sitting.
But all seats, reserved or not, benefit from unimpeded sightlines and the excellent acoustic.
You can obtain your tickets straight to your inbox or mobile via the website, or in person from Rowanthorn in Oswestry (Old Chapel Court, off the Central Car Park) and Whittington Post Office.
You can also order by post from the festival office at 3 Top Street, Whittington, Oswestry SY11 4DR, enclosing your cheque, clear instructions and a stamped addressed envelope.

Our artists are greatly looking forward to performing a  richly varied programme and are hoping for a full house every night, so please come and make this Whittington’s best festival yet!
If you have any queries about tickets or how to get here, please just reply to mail@whittingtonmusicfestival.org.uk for more information.

Swan Eggs

Councillors are truely sickened and deeply saddened by the news that the eggs in the swan’s nest at the Castle have been crushed, leaving just one remaining egg. The council were made aware of the incident this morning via Facebook and pictures were posted showing 3 large bricks that were removed from the swan’s nest. If anyone has any information or knows who may be responsible, please contact the Community Support Officer.

A croud funding page has been lauched by a member of the public to raise money for the Castle to implement CCTV to help protect the swans. Please click on the following link if you would like to donate:


What would you do to make the NHS better?

The NHS in Shropshire is changing, it is developing a local plan and needs your help. The two local independent health and care champions, Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin and Healthwatch Shropshire, have set up events in Telford and Shrewsbury where members of the public keen to influence the future of the NHS in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin are being encouraged to make their views known.

The Government is investing £20 billion a year in the NHS and nationally has developed the NHS Long Term Plan. This Long Term Plan sets out all the things it wants health services to do better for people across the country. Now your local NHS needs to hear from you about what those changes should look like in our community.

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Shropshire, said “We have launched two online surveys at https://www.healthwatch.co.uk/what-would-you-do to gather views but we know that it is important to give people the opportunity to come together to share their views, ideas and experiences to ensure that the local plans reflect the needs of our population.”

Paul Shirley, General Manager of Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin, commented “We are very pleased with the response we are getting from the surveys but know that hearing directly from people is extremely valuable and produces rich feedback that is really useful to those producing the local plan.”

The Shrewsbury event is being held at The Trinity Centre, Meole Brace on Wednesday 1st May 2019, to book a place please visit www.healthwatchshropshire.co.uk or ring 01743 237884

The Telford event is being held at Meeting Point House, Southwater Square on Monday 29th  April, to book a place please email telford.admin@healthwatchtelfordandwrekin.co.uk or ring 01952 739540

The two Healthwatches will be gathering together all the feedback and sharing it with the local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership who are responsible for the local plan.

Healthwatch Shropshire and Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin are the independent consumer champions for health and social care in the county of Shropshire and the borough of Telford & Wrekin. They gather the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.  They also have statutory powers that can be used to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.

Local Bus Service consultation

Reduction of Local Bus Service Subsidies – Financial Year 2019\20

Shropshire Council has launched a six-week consultation into proposed reductions to its public transport budget, which would see a reduction in the number and frequency of bus services subsidised by the Council.

The Council’s financial strategy for 2019/20 includes a budget reduction of £405,000 in public transport and £50,000 for Shrewsbury Park & Ride. To achieve these reductions a number of initiatives will have to be implemented and this consultation asks for views about these proposed changes.

The details of these proposals are provided below;

Public Transport – Those services financially supported by the Council.

To help identify the £405k budget reduction we requested that all our bus operators providing Local Bus Services on behalf of the Council, provide details of the level of service that they could provide on each of these services with a reduction in funding.

In the majority of cases this will represent a reduced timetable on each of the services the Council supports, details of how this will impact individual services is shown in the table at the bottom of this letter.

Shrewsbury Park & Ride

To achieve the budget reduction of £50k set out in the Council’s 2019/20 financial strategy, we are proposing to undertake the following;

  1. To remove the concessionary fare discount that allows passengers on presentation of their concessionary card to travel for a 50% discount, this discount is currently provided at the Councils discretion.
  2. To increase the return fare for the service from its current level of £1.60 to £2.00.
  3. To remove the Group ticket from Park & Ride which allows for up to 5 passengers to travel for the price of £2.50.

The consultation runs from 25 March to 6 May 2019 and can be found at www.shropshiure.gov.uk

Any responses to this consultation should be emailed to passtrans@shropshire.gov.uk or in writing to:

Public Transport Consultation

Passenger Transport Services

Shropshire Council


Abbey Foregate



All responses to the consultation will be included in a report that will be considered by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 22 May 2019.

Have your say on the future of the NHS in Shropshire


Heathwatch Shropshire have just launched ‘What would you do?’; a campaign to encourage the people of Shropshire to have their say about the future of the NHS in our area and we need your help.

Healthwatch Shropshire is the county’s independent health and care champion. Through ‘What would you do?’ we will seek to reach as many people, groups, and communities as possible to get feedback on how local NHS services should change.

The Government is investing £20 billion a year in the NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Local organisations have now been asked to work together to develop their own plans, which will set out how the national plan will work across local areas.

The public are being asked for their views about how services for cancer, mental health conditions, heart and lung diseases, long-term conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis, learning disabilities, autism, and dementia could be improved. They will also be asked to share their ideas on how people can live healthier lives and what improvements they think could be made to help people access services quickly.

These two surveys can be found here: http://www.healthwatchshropshire.co.uk/what-would-you-do

Police & Crime Commissioner Public Meeting Invitation

Oswestry Town Council recently passed a Notice of Motion as below:

“Following recent serious incidents affecting public safety in Oswestry, many headlined in the local press, this Council requests that the Police and Crime Commissioner attend a public meeting, to be facilitated by the Town Council, at the earliest opportunity.

The meeting to address the significant public concern over serious and ongoing incidents that threaten both public order and safety on a day to day basis and to seek answers from the Police and Crime Commissioner on how these concerns are being addressed.

In addition, the Police and Crime Commissioner to be held to account to explain the current policing resource for the town, recognising the increasing number of serious incidents within the second largest town in the county of Shropshire.”

John Campion, Police and Crime Commissioner, has agreed to come and attend a public meeting when various questions can be asked relating to the wording above.  The meeting is to be held at 6.30 pm on Monday 18th February 2019 at the Wynnstay Hotel, Oswestry and you are invited to attend.

Future of local hospital services secured for people of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales

Plans have been given the go ahead today to transform local hospital services for the half a million residents of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales to make sure two vibrant hospitals and the wide range of services they provide for people locally are kept in the county.

This landmark decision will result in better care for patients, secure the £312m on offer from HM Treasury and develop both hospital sites to deliver state of the art facilities in which staff will be proud to work and patients will choose to be treated.

The decision by the Joint Committee of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) on 29 January follows many years of planning and a formal public consultation, which brought about an unprecedented response rate from more than 3% of local people served by the hospitals. It will now allow plans to move forward to implement the model of better care for the future that have been developed by members of the public and over 300 clinicians, GPs and social care professionals.

Members of the Joint Committee of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin CCGs have unanimously approved Option 1 (the CCGs’ preferred option). This means that the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford will become a dedicated Planned Care site and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in Shrewsbury will become a specialist Emergency Care site.  This will allow specialist doctors to treat the most serious cases on the Emergency Care site, which is proven to be safer, provide better results for patients and reduce the amount of time people have to stay in hospital.

By having a separate Planned Care site, patients will wait less time for their appointments and beds would be protected for planned operations, meaning that is highly unlikely operations will be cancelled due to emergency admissions.  In addition, patients will be able to access 24 hour urgent care services at both hospitals. This means that almost 80% of patients will continue to go to the same hospital as they do now for emergency and urgent care.

David Evans, Chief Officer at NHS Telford & Wrekin CCG commented “Today marks the dawn of an exciting new era for our hospital services. We understand that people have concerns and the numbers that attended the meeting today highlights just how passionate people are about the NHS. However, we are equally passionate about ensuring that our patients benefit from the best NHS treatment possible and the decision we have made today is vital for the future of patient care.  Both the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital will continue to provide the services our patients use the most. These include outpatient appointments, midwife led services, tests and urgent care.

“People can be assured that this is not a downgrading of services. This is all about a huge improvement in the care that patients will receive and the majority of patients are still going to be seen in their local hospital in the urgent care centre. In order for the local NHS to deliver top quality emergency care, we need all specialities on one site.”

Dr Simon Freeman, Accountable Officer for NHS Shropshire CCG said: “We recognise that not everyone will agree with the decision made by the Joint Committee today, but people can be assured that we are acting in the best interests of our patients.  Our doctors, nurses and other health professionals strongly believe that hospital services have to change for the better and this view is shared by our regulator, NHS England.

“The changes that have been agreed by the Joint Committee today will mean that patients receive the best care in the right place at the right time, in better facilities with reduced waiting times. It will also mean we can attract the very best doctors and nurses to work at our hospitals and we can maintain the right level of highly skilled clinicians across both our hospitals. The new model of patient care also takes into account the expected changes in our population over the coming years and how the best care can be provided for everyone. I also want to reassure our communities, patients and staff that no services will change overnight. Robust plans will now need to be developed that will include a phased building programme over the next five years.

“We are all extremely grateful to the thousands of people who took part in the consultation and look forward to continuing to involve patients and the public over the coming years.”

Now that the decision has been made, it will take several years for the programme to be completed. A significant amount of work will need to be done to implement the huge improvements that patients will experience.

The following services will be provided at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital:

  • 24-hour Emergency Department
  • Critical Care Unit
  • Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit
  • Emergency surgery and medicine
  • Complex planned surgery
  • Women and children’s consultant-led inpatient services

The following services will be provided at the Princess Royal Hospital:

  • Planned inpatient surgery
  • Day case surgery
  • Breast inpatient services
  • Medical wards

Most people will still receive care and treatment in the same hospital as they do now, as the following services will be provided at both hospitals:

  • 24-hour Urgent Care Centre (the majority of patients who attend our A&E departments will receive care and treatment here)
  • Adult and children’s outpatient services
  • Day Case Renal Unit
  • Tests (diagnostics)
  • Midwife-led unit
  • Antenatal Day Assessment Unit
  • Early Pregnancy Assessment Service (EPAS)
  • Maternity outpatients and scanning


More information can be found at www.nhsfuturefit.org

Views sought on future provision of Ophthalmology services

Patients and staff are being asked for their views on how Ophthalmology services, provided by The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), should be delivered in the future.

Ophthalmology services are currently provided at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford, and Euston House (ICAT) in Telford; as outlined below:

Site Outpatients Surgery
RSH Adult & Paediatric

All sub-specialisms


Urgent Eye Clinic



General Anaesthetic and Local Anaesthetic sub-specialisms, complex and “simple”


Emergency Operating

PRH Adult & Paediatric

All sub-specialisms


Excluding the following:

Urgent Eye Clinic

Injections for Medical Retina related conditions


Cataract assessment



General Anaesthetic and Local Anaesthetic



Oculoplasty surgery.

ICAT Adult

The following services only: Cataract assessments, non-specialised ophthalmology and the ability to deliver lasers



The following services only: Local Anaesthetic “simple” Cataract and Injections


To improve patient care and waiting times; as well as help recruit and retain staff, SaTH is proposing to relocate the eye services currently provided by ICAT, back to the eye departments at RSH (Copthorne Building) and PRH.

The Trust is now seeking the views of service users, staff and other interested parties on two options:

  • Option 1 – No change
  • Option 2 – To relocate adult outpatient services from ICAT back into the respective main hospital sites; and relocate cataract surgery from ICAT to the Copthorne building at RSH

Tony Fox, Deputy Medical Director at SaTH, said: “The demand for eye services provided by SaTH remains incredibly high. By relocating services back to RSH and PRH, it would not only help us to improve waiting times for our patients, it would also help us to recruit and retain the staff to provide those services.

“Staff would spend less time travelling resulting in more clinical activity. Having more staff at reduced sites would potentially mean appointments would not have to be cancelled due to sickness; and having staff working alongside each other – rather than being spread across sites – would enable many patients to have their eye needs met in one appointment rather than multiple appointments and trips.

“We would like to encourage anyone with an interest in hospital eye services to complete the questionnaire. It is important for them to have their say as this will help us to shape how services will be provided for them in the future.”

Interested parties have until 18 February 2019 to respond to the questionnaire which can be accessed here: https://www.sath.nhs.uk/wards-services/az-services/ophthalmology/ or via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/1810EyeCare

The results of the questionnaire will be presented to SaTH’s Trust Board alongside associated recommendations at a meeting, which will be open to the public, in April.