Health bosses across England and Wales have moved to re-assure patient in north Shropshire and beyond they will have access to out-of-hours care, despite Shropdoc’s financial fears.

In a statement issued on behalf of Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups, plus Powys Teaching Health Board, the three groups said they have spent the last six months working with the popular service.

But with changes set for 2018 with contracts ending in both countries as NHS111 is rolled out further, bosses have asked for patients to meet them halfway as they bid to minimise the impact.

The statement said: “We have been working with Shropdoc since the summer to support them while they address the financial challenges they have been facing to ensure that these do not impact on the GP out-of-hours services they provide to our local populations.

“Our organisations are committed to making sure the service continues to provide appropriate level of quality care for the duration of the current contract ending on March 31, 2018 (in Wales) and on September 30, 2018‎ (in England). ‎

“Commissioners in England are progressing the planned procurement for the long term continuation of services which had been their plan since 2016.

“Commissioners in both England and Wales are progressing their plans in the context of the planned roll out of NHS111.

“We are supporting Shropdoc to make internal changes which will help address the financial pressures without impacting on patient care and the organisation is optimistic these will be successful.

“We want to assure patients that our priority is to ensure that people have access to out of hours primary care if they need it.

“Patients can help us by making sure that they order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time from their practice, so that out of hours is used to help people whose need is more urgent.

“This is particularly important as we go into the festive season and need patients to ensure they order repeat prescriptions well before the bank holiday.”