A SHAKE-UP of emergency health care is already attracting the next generation of doctors to Shropshire. Tom Jones, clinical programme manager at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals (SaTH) Trust, said a recruitment improvement has been seen since the £312 million funding for the Future Fit scheme was confirmed in March. Health bosses have previously said the county struggles to recruit because doctors are attracted to larger and specialised hospitals such as Wolverhampton and Stoke. The programme, which is currently up for consultation, will look to base emergency care on one hospital site and planned care on the other. Mr Jones said: “It will take six or seven years for this to come to fruition, but doctors are already coming to us. “We went five years without being able to recruit consultants to the emergency department.” He explained that in particular the shortage of staff had led to difficulties in recruiting middle grade doctors, who are responsible for the emergency department, as other hospitals could offer “better rotas”. He continued: “Doctors were pledging their futures elsewhere. “But since our announcement we are recruiting the next generation of doctors, so it is a very positive sign.” Dr Simon Freeman, accountable officer for Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said SaTH had been “struggling” with recruitment. He added: “It is really struggling because we don’t have adequate staffing. It is a problem. “National guidelines say there should be 20 consultants across both hospital emergency departments, but the real figure is more like 12.” The meeting was also given an outline of how long the Future Fit programme was likely to take after the consultation ends on September 11. Mr Jones explained the tendering process would take place over 2019/20, while the building work would take up to five years, meaning the emergency department would open in 2024/25.