Under plans approved by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in October, Telford’s 24-hour A&E service will be downgraded and replaced with a so-called “A&E Local” service only operating during “core hours.”
Many took Johnson’s words to mean that this plan would be scrapped. However, Matt Hancock later told the Shropshire Star: “We’re going ahead with the plan and that's backing the decision that I published a month ago.”
Martin Wright, Editor of the Shropshire Star, told me: "For a moment it looked as if the A&E was saved. But then Matt Hancock clarified to say it would not be open full time." He added "I am sure Mr Johnson would claim that we are keeping 'A & E Local'. But for those campaigning to save Telford's full time A&E department, an 'A&E Local' that is open during core hours is not the same as 'saving the A&E'."
While Telford will retain some form of A&E services, Johnson’s statement that he will make sure the A&E service is “kept open” was misleading as the current service will in fact be significantly reduced.