All NHS organisations and the two Councils in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin are working closely together to bring back on-line some of the services that were temporarily stopped, slightly altered or that moved location following the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).
At the outset of the pandemic, services including local hospitals, GPs, health visitors and social care staff responded quickly by changing the way they worked. While some services are returning to how they were, some changes will need to remain in place to make sure the best health and care can be provided in the coming months and that people at the front line who provide our care are prepared to handle any future increase in cases.
Steve Trenchard, Executive Director of Transformation for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin CCGs said: “We’d like to thank local people for their continuing patience and understanding during this difficult time. For the safety and wellbeing of our staff, patients and their families we had to make some immediate decisions about everyone’s health and care and we know that for some people these service changes have caused concern and may be inconvenient.
“While we are all pleased to see that the number of cases continues to go down, we can’t be sure that will continue. Hopefully, we won’t see an increase to the same levels again, but as shops and businesses re-open and social distancing rules are relaxed, we need to make sure our hospitals, GPs and other services are ready to handle any further outbreaks.”
Dr Jane Povey, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) Clinical Lead said: “We are having to make some tough decisions about what services we do bring back and what we don’t for now. These decisions are being taken by the doctors and nurses in our hospitals and in the community. Our main concern is and always will be everyone’s safety.
“Many of our staff have been asked to work in new roles and locations; equipment has been moved to where it is most needed to care for people; we need to make sure we have enough personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and aprons; and we have fewer beds in our hospital wards as we have had to move them further apart which takes up more space. This all means that while some services are being restored to how they were before the outbreak, we can’t switch them all back on straight away and we hope people can understand these reasons why and bear with us.”
Many services have been kept as they always were including A&E departments and essential vaccinations for babies, pre-school children and adults. Services that were changed and are being restored include children’s (paediatric) cancer services.
More health and care services will continue to be restored over the coming weeks. Where the changes affect only a limited number of known patients they will be contacted directly by the service. Where the service is available to all patients and the public, changes will be communicated through websites, newsletters, posters and leaflets, social media and local newspapers and radio stations.