Temporary service changes - COVID-19

Changes to health services in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

The NHS and both councils in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are working closely together to meet the challenges of COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus. This is placing extra demand on local services and all health and care organisations are working hard to ensure essential services can remain adequately staffed and are safe and sustainable.

The added pressures being faced mean that some services have already or may need to be temporarily suspended or closed. The reasons for these changes vary depending on the service. In many cases it reflects the need to move staff to new roles or locations to keep essential services going; in certain circumstances it means that some wards and beds can be used in an alternative way to meet the needs of patients; in others it is to reduce the number of people visiting the hospitals to support the social distancing measures introduced by the government.

When the suspension or closure of services is necessary, every effort will be made to give the public as much notice as possible, and when appointments are affected, patients will be contacted directly. 

On behalf of all local health and care partners, Dr Julie Davies, Director of Performance for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin CCGs, said: “We would like to thank people in advance for their understanding and reassure them that these closures are temporary. They are being done in a planned way with the best interests of local people and our staff in mind. We will continue to provide information on any further closures that are necessary.”

Further information:

For more information please contact the appropriate healthcare provider.


The following service changes were correct as of Thursday, 9 April, 2020:

Changes to services provided by Shropshire and Telford NHS Trust (SaTH) and Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt NHS Trust (RJAH):

Bariatric Surgery at SaTH has been suspended.

Oral and Maxillo Facial Surgery has been suspended for outpatients and all but the most urgent parts of head and neck cancer services.

NHSE Screening Programmes, in line with national guidance, a number of screening programmes have been temporarily suspended including breast, aneurysm, bowel cancer and procedures following faecal immunochemical test (FIT).

Orthopaedic Trauma Services has been temporarily changed. For adults requiring fracture clinic services, patients are being triaged at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and those requiring surgery will be taken to RJAH. Paediatric trauma services and paediatric fracture clinics will remain at Princess Royal Hospital. A small number of the most urgent cases, where it would be inappropriate to transfer to RJAH, will be undertaken at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. 

Cancer Services - some cancer surgery was temporarily relocated to another site (Nuffield Hospital, Shrewsbury). This is predominantly for breast surgery, gynaecology and aspects of the urology service.

Routine Elective and Day Case Surgery at both SaTH and RJAH have been suspended across all specialties in line with national guidance.

Elective Orthopaedic Service at RJAH has been suspended.

Outpatient Services at SaTH and RJAH, including new routine referrals, routine follow-up appointments, pre-operative assessment for routine cases and routine diagnostic procedures, have been suspended across all specialties.

All referrals are clinically triaged, to ensure that patients who are clinically urgent are either invited for review face to face or are contacted to arrange a telephone consultation.

Some diagnostic procedures, particularly where they involve aerosol generating procedures (for example upper GI endoscopy) are limited.

Surveillance including cancer follow-up services will be postponed to relieve the current pressures on the system, but are also subject to clinical triage in the relevant speciality.

Home births and Midwife Led Unit births at the Wrekin MLU has been closed and all home births suspended. Until further notice, all births will take place at the Consultant-led Unit at Princess Royal Hospital. In addition, scans will not be offered at the Oswestry and Bridgnorth Midwife-Led Units, or Sutton Hill Children’s Centre in Telford. Instead, expectant mothers will attend their scan appointments at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford or the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Endoscopy Service, with the exception of emergency in-patient treatment, has been suspended.


Changes to services provided by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT)

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service will be temporarily closed to self-referrals. This closure will enable staff to be redeployed to other critical services. A revised service will be available, via the Mental Health 24/7 helpline offering assessment, self-help materials and a further follow up call plus one further call if needed.

The Mental Health 24/7 helpline can be contacted on 0300 124 0365 but please note this service cannot provide advice regarding symptoms of Coronavirus.

Memory Clinic services have been temporarily changed. No referrals are currently being accepted for routine assessments for cognitive impairment (when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life). MPFT are working with colleagues in the local council and the Alzheimer’s Society to undertake Safe and Well telephone calls to support known individuals with dementia and their carers.

Any risks identified and increased support requirements will be identified and action taken by the most appropriate organisation. All high risk patients being supported by MPFT will continue to be monitored and supported. Where someone has suspected dementia and with high risks identified, they will receive support from the dementia home treatment team.

There will be no routine visits into care homes at this time. A duty system and telephone support will be available and the home treatment team will continue to work proactively within government guidance.


Changes to service provided by Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust (Shropcom):

Community Phlebotomy Services will now only handle urgent or essential bloods.

Community Radiography will now only provide acute imaging from the Minor Injuries Unit.

Community Rehabilitation Services will focus only on high priority work such as respiratory physiotherapy.

Community Diabetes Clinics have been suspended.

Tissue Viability Services are now only handling patients with urgent pressure sores and providing complex wound care advice.

DAART Service has been temporarily suspended except for urgent blood transfusions and to support early discharge from acute and community hospitals.

Wem Wound Healing Service is only providing home visits for urgent patients.

Community Continence Service is suspended, but is continuing to provide continence products.

Admiral Nursing Service is suspended.

Telford Wound Healing Service is only providing home visits for urgent patients.

Care Home MDTs and Case Management Service are suspended.

Clinic Physiotherapy is dealing with urgent cases only but is providing telephone consultations to all other patients.

Community Neurological Rehabilitation Team (CNRT) is suspended except for urgent cases, but will provide telephone consultations to all other service users.

Podiatry is suspended apart from diabetic foot clinics.

Community Day Surgery is suspended and will only provide 2 week wait cystoscopy.

Community Hospital Consultant Outpatients Clinics are now only provided for urgent cases.

Advanced Primary Care Services (APCS) are handling urgent cases only but will provide telephone consultations to all other service users.

Telford Musculoskeletal Service (TeMS) is handling urgent cases only, but will provide telephone consultations to all other service users.

Audiology Services are suspended.

Falls Service is suspended.

0-19 Services (Health Visitors) are now only handling the following: Safeguarding Work (MASH etc); New Birth Visits; Follow up of high risk mothers, babies and families; Antenatal visits; Blood spot screening.

Children and Families Community Nursing service is now prioritising urgent care needs.

Community Paediatrics is suspended except for the safeguarding service.

Wheelchair Services are suspended except for urgent referrals.

Community Dentistry is dealing with urgent cases only.