Over 3,000 march against overnight A&E closure in Telford

An estimated crowd of more than 3,000 people marched through Wellington to show their support for Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) and to fight the planned overnight closure of its A&E.

It's estimated that over 3,000 people took part in the march. Photo: @TelfordWrekin
It’s estimated that over 3,000 people took part in the march. Photo: @TelfordWrekin

The closure is expected to come into force in December due to a shortage of middle grade A&E doctors and nurses at PRH.

Thousands of people marched from the centre of Wellington to the Charlton School very close to the PRH site.

Led by music from Wellington Brass Band, the march finished with a number of speeches including from Council leader Shaun Davies and the leader of Wolverhampton City Council Roger Lawrence, who warned of the extra pressure that PRH’s A&E overnight closure would put on hospital services in Wolverhampton. Cllr Davies was also joined by Lib Dem Council Group Leader Bill Tomlinson, union leaders and community groups.

Cllr Shaun Davies: “A huge thank you to the thousands who gave up their Sunday morning to show their support for the PRH and the strength of opposition to the planned overnight closure of its A&E.

“Many people came from right across the borough, the region and from all different political parties to show how we are united together in our fight against this.

“Our message is clear – we need a Government backed-rescue plan now to stop what is the wholly avoidable overnight closure of PRH’s A&E. This can be stopped.

“Today is another very clear sign, on top of the 31,000 who have already signed our Government online petition, of the anger and opposition to these plans. This cannot be allowed to happen and our fight goes on.”

Cllr Davies added “We have a developed a Council-led rescue plan, backed by the community, including rent free homes for doctors and nurses, providing grants to young people from Telford and Wrekin who are seeking a career in nursing, meeting the Indian Consul General to secure Commonwealth doctors, working for the creation of a Telford medical school which trains nurses and doctors and calling on government to scrap pay caps for doctors and nurses.

“This is not the end – if we succeed in getting the overnight closure plan scrapped we will fight to ensure our A&E is never downgraded and we never lose our consultant led woman and children unit – if it does close we will use every day ahead to fight for to re-open.

Cllr Davies had invited the five MPs whose constituencies are served by the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals trust which runs the PRH to attend and speak.

Last month the Trust which runs Shropshire’s two acute hospitals said it was making every effort to avoid overnight suspension of A&E services at the PRH.