A HEALTH campaigner hopes that bringing in expertise from a Birmingham NHS Trust will help improve standards at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which serves a major part of Powys

Long-time health campaigner and Powys County Council anti-poverty champion, Cllr Joy Jones said that she was pleased to see the new “improvement alliance” between and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB).

This partnership is supposed to “provide leadership expertise that will support the trust” and help improve standards.

Cllr Jones (Newtown East – non-aligned) said: “I know this report will raise concerns for people here in Montgomeryshire as SaTH is so vital for our communities.

“Speaking with residents, it is clear that some have poor care from the trust, but we also know many who do receive very good care.

“I have been given clear assurances that this will not mean that more patients will need to travel to Birmingham for their care.”

Cllr Jones added: “Central to those improvements there must be the new emergency centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital as agreed following the Future Fit consultation.”

She has written to both Louise Barnett, Chief Executive of SaTH, and Dr David Rosser, Chief Executive of UHB,  to make sure they deliver on that “vital promise.”

Powys Teaching Health Board, chief executive, Carol Shillabeer: “I welcome the robust steps taken last week by NHS England / Improvement to put in place additional support for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

“The Care Quality Commission report clearly identifies a number of significant failures in the services provided by the Trust, which is the main provider of acute hospital services for residents of north east Powys.

“We are continuing to work closely with health commissioners in England, the Care Quality Commission, NHS England/Improvement and other partners through these new support arrangements to ensure that necessary improvements are made. ”

Ms Shillabeer added that a meeting had been held with Dr David Rosser, chief executive of UHB, to ensure that patients from Powys are “at the heart” of improvements.

The announcement of the Improvement Alliance was made on August 7.

Dr Nigel Sturrock, regional medical director for NHS Improvement (NHSI) in the English Midlands, said: “The challenges facing SaTH are complex and substantial.

“As a leading teaching hospital with outstanding leadership, UHB are well placed to provide the wide range of expertise needed to address some of the key patient safety, and quality challenges faced by SaTH.”

Louise Barnett, chief executive of SaTH, who joined the Trust in February 2020, said: “SaTH cannot accomplish the necessary transformation alone and the provision of this extra expertise will be a really positive step forward on our improvement journey.”