Trust to meet with Indian Consulate in bid to recruit more A&E staff

The Chief Executive of the Trust which runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals is to meet officials from the Indian Consulate in Birmingham in the latest attempt to recruit more staff to the county’s two A&E Departments.

Simon Wright from The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) will attend the meeting today along with Telford & Wrekin Council leader Councillor Shaun Davies to ask the Consulate if they are able to help provide any staff from India.

It is the latest move as officials from SaTH look at ways of avoiding the potential overnight closure of the Accident and Emergency Department at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.

The department currently remains open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. However, the Board of the Trust has agreed that the A&E could close between 8pm and 8am because of staff shortages that are impacting on patient safety.

If the recruitment of additional staff is not possible and an overnight closure becomes unavoidable, it would not happen until sometime in November.

In the meantime, SaTH is continuing to work closely with MPs, councillors and other partners to try to avoid the overnight closure, or to reduce any impact as much as possible should it become necessary.

Recently, SaTH held a constructive meeting, organised by Lucy Allan, Telford MP, with councillors from across Telford. The Trust is also working closely with Mark Pritchard, Wrekin MP.

Ms Allan has written to Health Education England, NHS Improvement and Secretary of State Matt Hancock MP asking for support for SaTH and has pledged to continue to work with ministers and local stakeholders to try to avoid an overnight closure.

And last week Councillor Davies launched an appeal to businesses to help refurbish three houses at the PRH site to be used to accommodate junior and middle grade doctors for free, to encourage more staff to come to the Trust. SaTH would then be the only hospital trust in England to offer free on-site accommodation to staff. The Trust said it had been unable to refurbish the buildings due to a lack of capital.

Ben Reid, Trust Chair, said: “The capital we have goes first and foremost on replacing outdated medical equipment for the direct benefit of our patients.

“Like all NHS hospitals, we are thankful for charitable donations from organisations like our two Friends groups and the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund, as well as individuals and groups who give up their time to help us.”

Dr Chris Mowatt, Consultant Anaesthetist in Intensive Care and Year 1 Foundation Doctor Programme Director, said: “We are very grateful to Shaun for this idea. It is great that local politicians and the hospitals can work together in a positive and engaging way, starting from the community up.

“Having refurbished accommodation that is free would be a real attraction, but this is not just about the accommodation, it’s also the message it sends out: ‘look how much our community cares’.”