The Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen will take on all spinal surgery in Shropshire for the next three months.

It comes after the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust (SaTH) listed it as a ‘fragile service’ earlier this year due to issues with staffing.

The decision was announced ahead of last week’s Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group meeting, which revealed discussions have led to the bosses at the Orthopaedic Hospital “accepting the transfer of the current caseload.”

Mark Brandreth, chief executive of the Orthopaedic Hospital, said: “We are happy to be working with our commissioning colleagues while supporting the team at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, and to be able to provide ongoing care for all SaTH’s urgent spinal outpatients and patients requiring surgical intervention.

“We have a world-renowned team of eight spinal surgeons here at RJAH and have put plans in place to ensure we are able to manage the increased workload. Given that SATH has one surgeon, it would seem to make sense to bring the teams together and provide a county-wide service that is safe and sustainable.”

Carolynne Scott, assistant chief operating officer for scheduled care at SaTH, commented: “As has been reported, due to the unexpected sudden illness of our spinal surgeon at SaTH, we are not currently able to provide a full spinal service at the Trust.

“In order to ensure patients are seen as quickly as possible, we have discussed the situation with our coordinating commissioner and other key organisations and agreed that all urgent outpatients and patients requiring surgical intervention will now be transferred to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital. Patients requiring a routine follow-up will remain at SaTH under the care of our Orthopaedic team.

“We expect this to continue for a minimum of three months, but will be reviewing the situation regularly throughout that period.”