CAMPAIGNERS used an event voiced concerns over a controversial health service shake-up.

Health bosses have proposed a preferred option of moving emergency care to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and planned care to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

Marilyn Jones, of Oswestry, spoke about how the planned care is at the top of her list of concerns after paying a visit to Wednesday's Future Fit consultation at Cabin Lane Church.

The consultation also proposes moving planned care to Shrewsbury and emergency care to Telford, but Marilyn fears that the plans to split the services between two sites will be damaging to the local healthcare system, whichever option is given the go-ahead.

She said: “I just don’t think it’s right, I think we should just leave it as it is or have one hospital in the middle for everybody.

“People in Telford are no doubt going to be just as stressed as we are in Oswestry.”

Marilyn has visited the hospital regularly over the last couple of years with her mother and has seen other family members treated in the hospitals in the past.

She is concerned that if either of the options are implemented, the access to both of the sites, particularly for people like herself who do not drive, could be a big problem.

“I have an 84-year-old mother who’s been in and out of hospital over the past few years – if we have to take her to a planned care centre in Telford in the future, how are we going to get there? I can’t drive, so it would mean taking three buses," she said

“They have proposed ideas for shuttle buses to help with transport – do we believe it? I’m not holding my breath.”

Like many others, Marilyn agrees that it is all about cutting funds spent on the NHS, and that this is one of the reasons the sites are struggling, with staff working under such pressure.

“It’s all about money and I personally feel like this is just another step towards the NHS being privatised.

“The staff are wonderful, even under such pressure – when my brother was in hospital we could go in at half past nine in the morning and we would be there until half past eight or nine and the same staff would still be there.”

But a representative for Shropshire and Telford Hospitals at the event has backed plans for change.

Dr Andrew Tapp, a gynaecologist who has worked at both of the hospitals, believes that change is necessary for the future of the region’s healthcare system.

Dr Tapp believes that despite the concerns of the public, the separation of the services is something that will work better than the current system.

He said: “For me the way forward, as a member of staff, is to see a planned care hospital, and an emergency unit.

“At the moment our A&E centres are not functioning – we’re not getting terrible outcomes, but they are not functioning well.

“The waits are extremely long, we regularly feature as one of the worse performing trusts in the country, because we are struggling to deliver the care in the current system.

“Staying still isn’t an option, nor is investing in both emergency centres, not just financially, but also to do with personnel.”