Travelling to Hospital

Editor,

I am afraid that the letter from A Barnett (letters 5th October) rather confirms my fear that emotions will take over from reason when we look at the question of hospital services.

Both the Google and TomTom web sites suggest that Bangor and Aberystwyth are two hours from Shrewsbury. Mr Barnett also mentions Wrexham, Chester and Merseyside to the North and Swansea to the South. Wrexham is indeed closer to Shrewsbury, but like Aberystwyth and Bangor it does not have a full range of emergency medical services. Swansea is over three hours away.

Let me put it another way. If you live in West Shropshire there is only one hospital within 25 miles that is equipped to operate on an abdominal aortic aneurysm. That hospital is Shrewsbury. If you live in Telford there are six hospitals within 25 miles.[1]

In some ways it is heartening to hear the protestations of loyalty coming from both sides of the county, but I would like to restate the opening remark from my previous letter that the number one consideration must be the quality of service and the safety of patients.

I should, perhaps make it clear that I do not speak on behalf of either hospital or the hospital trust, but it is my understanding that under the current proposals most, if not all the patients referred to in your article on page 6 would still be able to be treated in Telford. Indeed, if one is talking about numbers and the convenience of patients, the current proposals are likely to mean more Shrewsbury residents travelling to Telford for treatment than the other way round.

Yours,

Dr Charles West
Parliamentary Candidate: Shrewsbury and Atcham Liberal Democrats
3 Bellstone
Shrewsbury
SY1 1HU
tel:   07775 800744


[1] http://www.nhs.uk/

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