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Weather-hit Services Returning to Normal - But Services at Shrewsbury MLU Suspended
Services at Shropshire’s two acute hospitals are returning to normal after severe weather caused the cancellation of Outpatient appointments and non-emergency operations today.
But the heavy snow has led to the suspension of some maternity services at Shrewsbury Midwife Led Unit (MLU).
The decision to cancel appointments was taken due to a combination of factors including advice from emergency services for people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.
Officials at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs RSH and PRH, wanted to limit traffic coming onto the hospital sites and ensure non-emergency patient transport was available for people ready to be discharged from hospital.
The hospitals have also been affected by some members of staff struggling to get into work.
But after a review of services today, many appointments will go ahead tomorrow as planned.
Debbie Kadum, Chief Operating Officer at SaTH, said: “Outpatient appointments and routine procedures will be proceeding as normal, as far as possible. It may be necessary for us to cancel some appointments, but we will contact any patients who are affected in plenty of time.
“If you have not been contacted, you should assume your appointment is going ahead as planned. If you have any questions, please contact us using the number on your appointment letter.
“We appreciate that not everybody will be able to get to our hospitals tomorrow and there will be some people who do not want to travel. If you can’t make your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know.
“I would like to remind people that our A&E Departments are only for people with serious illness or injury. There are alternatives out there for less serious conditions, which could mean you avoid what could be a lengthy wait in A&E.”
Alternative sources of care for non-critical ailments are:
- Local pharmacy – they can provide advice and treat a range of minor illnesses and conditions.
- NHS 111 – Call 111 for free from any phone 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and you can quickly access appropriate health information and advice
- Minor Injuries Units around the county can treat a range of minor conditions without the need to travel to an A&E department
- You can also book urgent appointments at GP practices, often for the same day or if you are poorly out of normal working hours, you can call Shropdoc the GP Out-of-Hours service on 0333 222 66 55.
The adverse weather has, led to the suspension of births and other inpatient services at Shrewsbury Midwife Led Unit (MLU).
The heavy snow has caused damage to part of the roof on the unit, and as a result, the delivery suites have had to be closed. It unfortunately means that the MLU will not be open to deliveries or postnatal inpatients. Services are expected to be suspended until mid- to late-January.
The MLU will remain open to outpatient services including day attendees, hearing screening and the registrar.
All women who are due to have their baby at the MLU in Shrewsbury have been notified, and calls have been diverted so that women will have 24/7 access to a midwife. Anyone in labour will be asked to make their way to either Wrekin Midwife Led Unit or the Consultant Led Unit at Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford. Community midwifery including home births are unaffected.
Jo Banks, Women and Children’s Care Group Director at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), said: “The extreme weather conditions have caused damage to part of the roof and as a result we have unfortunately had to temporarily suspend all of our in-patient services at the MLU, including deliveries. Our estates team is currently assessing the extent of the damage, and we are working with them to ensure that repairs are carried out as soon as they can be. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience or distress that this may cause.”