I fear that we are going to hear much emotional talk about the proposals to change the range of services provided by the hospitals in Shropshre. As a doctor, I feel bound to point out that the issues of quality of service and safety for patients must take priority over all other issues. The second consideration should be the cost of providing services and where those services are actually provided should be of lesser importance. We already send patients outside the county where highly specialised services are required. We regularly send patients to Birmingham, Stoke on Trent and Liverpool, and it is in the best interests of patients to travel if they are able to get better treatment by going to these highly specialised centres.
When we do come to the consideration of location of services within Shropshire we need to remember that there are large parts of Wales that look to Shropshire for Health Services and that without those Welsh patients the Shropshire Hospitals would be in a much weaker position. It might also be worth pointing out that the next hospitals west of Shrewsbury are two hours away, and the next hospital east of Telford is twenty-five minutes away.
Dr Charles West