A DELAYED programme to transform hospital services for communities across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales has taken a significant step forward.

The plans - formerly known as Future Fit - aim to reconfigure services at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, including moving emergency care and maternity care to the RSH.

It was given £312 million by the Government four years ago but is yet to go ahead.

However, it has now been confirmed that the programme - which has wrangled on for years amid legal battled and political arguments - has now been formerly approved by the Government and NHS England.

It follows the submission of a Strategic Outline Case (SOC) submitted Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS).

The plans, which have now been formally approved by the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England’s Joint Investment Committee, will be subject to a number of conditions that hospital chiefs say will be addressed as the Outline Business Case during the next stage of the Hospitals Transformation Programme (HTP).

The announcement has been hailed as an ‘exciting step forward’ by officials.

Nicholas White, chief medical officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS, said: “This is an exciting step forward for our overarching vision to improve health and wellbeing across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

“Delivering HTP will play a significant part in enabling our health and care services to meet the needs of our population, now and in the future.

"This investment will enable us to raise standards, meaning if people do need to access hospital services, they receive the best care possible.”


What changes will be made with the HTP?

  • A dedicated site for planned care will be created at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford, while the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) site will specialise in emergency care, benefitting patients through immediate access to medical and surgical specialist teams based at the same location.
  • Both the Telford and Shrewsbury sites will provide 24-hour urgent care services, providing improved access for the assessment and treatment of a wide range of illness and injuries.
  • Telford will benefit from a new urgent care service, an A&E Local model, staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of health, care and community professionals. 
  • Women and Children’s inpatient services will be based in Shrewsbury, however both hospital sites will provide a range of assessment and maternity outpatient and scanning services, along with midwife-led birthing units for low risk births. 
  • In addition to urgent care services, both sites will provide a wide range of common services including testing (diagnostics such as X-rays), outpatients appointments and day case chemotherapy.

Whitchurch Herald: The Princess Royal Hospital. Pic: GoogleMapsThe Princess Royal Hospital. Pic: GoogleMaps


Dr John Jones, executive medical director (acting) at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital (SaTH) NHS Trust, said: “The Hospitals Transformation Programme represents a model of care that has been designed, led and supported by our clinicians from the outset. It will ensure our services are much more resilient, reduce cancellations and delays and ensure patients are seen more rapidly by specialist teams.

“This is a major milestone towards enabling us to deliver better health outcomes and a vastly improved experience of care for our communities.”

Louise Barnett, chief executive of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, added: “This is fantastic news for our communities as it moves us another step closer to delivering the improvements to our hospital services that we so desperately need.


"This new model of care will address major challenges presented by duplicated and fragmented services and ageing infrastructure – issues which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“HTP supports our vision for our communities to benefit from excellent local services including a modern Emergency Department which provides immediate access to medical and surgical specialities, setting new national standards for the delivery of enhanced urgent care through our A&E Local model in Telford and supporting our long-term ambitions to become a recognised leader in the delivery of day case services.”