Visiting to all wards suspended at Shropshire’s acute hospitals

Visiting has been suspended to all wards at Shropshire’s two acute hospitals to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford, said the decision to suspend visiting had not been made lightly and aims to reduce the number of people coming into the hospitals, to protect patients.

The changes are now in effect across all wards and will remain in place until further notice.

There are some exceptions to the restrictions which are:

  • Children’s Ward
  • Maternity
  • Neonatal unit
  • End of life care patients

Full details concerning the restrictions are available on

A41 Closure 26 – 30 October 2020

The A41 will be closed from Bletchley Dual Carriageway End To Upper College Junction (near Sandford village) on these days between 09.30 – 16.00.

This is so that the speed limit reduction scheme can be completed.

There is a long planned diversion route using the A49 and A53 which could well mean that traffic uses the road through Hodnet and Marchamley instead – take care.

Coronavirus: The ‘Swiss cheese’ approach to protecting yourself and others from COVID-19

This maybe sounds a little bizarre, but it is a different way of thinking about the precautions we choose to take.

A stack of Swiss cheese can help protect you from coronavirus / COVID-19. Well, physically, it cannot. But the idea can.

Think of all the measures designed to keep us safe

  • Social distancing
  • Hand hygiene
  • Face coverings
  • Surface cleaning
  • Self-isolating
  • Testing

We should all be doing these things or be ready to do them, but none of them are 100% effective on their own.

Each measure is a bit of like a slice of Swiss cheese. There are holes in it, and so the virus can get through in certain ways. But if we follow all these measures and stack them together, it’s less likely the holes in every slice of cheese will align to make as clear a path through the entire stack.

So basically, if we follow all the measures designed to keep us safe, the chances of us either having or spreading the virus are vastly reduced.

Gritters need names too!

People across Shropshire are being asked to help name the county’s gritters – again – before they hit the roads this winter.

Two years ago people were invited to suggest names for the 25 gritters in the Shropshire Highways fleet – and hundreds of suggestions were made, before 24 names were chosen in a public vote – with over 2000 votes cast. The 25th gritter was named after Broseley schoolboy Zac Oliver.

Earlier this month, 17 of the gritters were replaced with brand new vehicles – vehicles that don’t have names. So, once again, people are being asked to put on their thinking caps and put forward their suggestions.

And, so that the other eight vehicles in the fleet don’t feel left out, they are going to be renamed too.

Three of the gritters will continue to be named after local youngsters Zac Oliver, Charlie Desmond and Jack Edwards – leaving 22 names to be found.

Suggestions can be made via the Shropshire Council twitter (@shropcouncil)), on Shropshire Council’s Facebook (/shropshirecouncil), or by sending an email to

People of all ages can enter, and schools are being encouraged to invite their pupils to put forward their ideas and then submit entries on behalf of the school.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Wednesday 4 November.

All suggestions will be shortlisted by a team of ‘experts’ and the best/most popular names will go through to a public vote on the Shropshire Council website in mid to late November, when people will be able to choose their favourites.

The 22 gritters will then be given their new names in time for winter.

The five most popular names in the 2018 vote were:

  • Gritty Gritty Bang Bang – 1246 votes
  • Frosty the Snow Van -1101 votes
  • Spready Mercury – 1080 votes
  • Gritty McGritface – 1018 votes
  • Usain Salt – 1004 votes

Coronavirus: Public urged to ‘Step Up’ as Shropshire sees rise in Covid-19 case numbers

The following is taken directly from Shropshire Council’s website:

Last week in Shropshire saw a further 222 confirmed cases, and Shropshire Council are strongly encouraging people of all ages, particularly the younger and working age population, to continue to play their part and help the county avoid further restrictions and a lockdown.

Shropshire rate is currently at 69.3 per 100,000. 60% of Shropshire’s cases are also happening outside of occupational settings.

The UK Government confirmed the county will be placed in Tier 1 on the new COVID-19 alert system. Restrictions in place include the rule of six – which means that no more than six people can gather together – either indoors or outdoors.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s Director of Public Health:

 “Almost every area of Shropshire at the time of writing is experiencing a rise in cases, and across all age groups.

“This time last month we had 29 cases in a week– now we have 222 cases so this shows how rapidly the virus can spread.

“We are asking people to be even more vigilant about the basic steps. It means keeping 2 metres from people you do not live with, wear face coverings and wash hands.

“Please limit the number of times you come into contact with others outside your household or bubble – whether it’s in a shop, at the school gates or meeting friends. This will help reduce the rising rate of transmission.

“If you have symptoms, please stay at home, self-isolate and book a test.  Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

“The power is in our hands. If we all step up and do our part, we can cut the rates of infection.”

Coronavirus: Test and Trace payments available to those told to self-isolate

The following is taken directly from the Shropshire Council website:

Employed or self-employed people on low incomes who are told to self-isolate, but whose income would be hit by staying at home, can now claim a £500 support payment.

From Monday 12 October 2020, Test and Trace payments of £500 will be available to those who meet the eligibility criteria and have been told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must be:

  • asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • employed or self-employed
  • unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

You can find out further details and submit a claim for the scheme by clicking here

Market Drayton Leisure Centre re-opening Monday 19 October 2020!

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust Ltd has announced plans for Market Drayton Swimming & Fitness Centre to reopen on Monday 19 October 2020.

The centre has been closed since March, when the Government instructed all leisure facilities in the UK to shut due to coronavirus. When restrictions were eased in July, safety assessments highlighted issues around air ventilation, which would need to be addressed for the site to reopen and be COVID-19-safe. This work is due to be completed very soon, ensuring the facilities will be COVID-19-safe.

Shropshire Community Leisure Trust Ltd has introduced a series of social distancing and safety measures at all its sites, including one-way systems, a reduction in workout class sizes, more space between gym equipment and a greatly increased cleaning schedule.

For the full list of safety procedures to follow at each centre and how to book into sessions when they do open, please visit the Trust’s website:

Whitchurch Swimming Centre site remains closed, as it is currently not possible to enforce Government social distancing guidelines within the ageing facility.

Severn Trent Community Fund

Back in January Severn Trent launched their new Community Fund, giving grants from £2,000 – £200,000 to support new community wellbeing projects by local charities and community groups in our region. The fund is overseen by an independent panel which is made up of Severn Trent’s customers, who review applications on a quarterly basis and decide how the money is spent.

Since the fund launched, they have seen a huge amount of interest and as one of the few funders that are currently open to non-Covid 19 related projects, it’s been a very busy few months. However, they have found that the number of applications received from Shropshire has been relatively low when compared to other counties in their region.

It’s really important to Severn Trent that the Community Fund money is spread fairly across their customer base and the counties they supply, so please do pass on this information and click on the link below to find out more if you are aware of local initiatives that could benefit.

Step Up Shropshire

Shropshire residents are being asked to ‘step up’ and play their part in stopping the spread of coronavirus and keep themselves and others safe.

‘Step Up Shropshire’ is the new countywide campaign launched to reinforce key public health messages.

Last week in Shropshire saw a further 75 confirmed cases, and we are strongly encouraging people of all ages, particularly the younger and working age population, to continue to play their part by keeping themselves and others safe.

To reduce the county’s COVID-19 cases, Shropshire Council are urging residents to protect themselves and others by continuing to wash their hands, cover their faces if in enclosed spaces, and to socially distance from people not in their own household.

 In addition, people are being asked to:

  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance from people not in your household bubble (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Stick to a maximum group of 6 people when meeting socially – indoors or outdoors
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If you are unable to wash hands and they are visibly clean, use hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
  • Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will meet people you do not normally meet.
  • Anyone who has any symptoms should book a test and not leave home for at least 10 days. Those living in households should self-isolate for 14 days if they or any members of the household receive a positive test.

Further information

For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating), call Shropshire Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0345 678 9028 (lines open on the weekend on Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday 9am-12pm) or visit our website at

Shropshire Climate Action Partnership (SCAP)

 SCAP is a not-for-profit organisation set up to represent the communities, enterprises, councils and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) of Shropshire, dedicated to ensuring that Shropshire achieves net zero carbon by 2030.

 SCAP is bringing together organisations, businesses, and communities across Shropshire, through collaboration, knowledge-sharing and empowerment.  Their first aim is to develop a practical zero carbon Shropshire plan (ZCSP) by the end of 2020, and they are seeking input from all communities.

SCAP has set up working groups that are pulling together plans for Shropshire, and want to draw on all the excellent ideas and actions that already exist across our county.  The information that is being sought is anything that is already being done or is planned to reduce carbon emissions locally, or to mitigate climate change matters, i.e. solar panels on properties, tree planting schemes, reducing car use etc.

 The Shropshire Climate Action Partnership is interested to hear about work that has been done in the past, also anything that is scheduled, or what your aspirations are for your town or villages in the near future in mitigating or reducing your carbon footprint to zero. 

They are also keen to hear from anyone who may like to get involved in one of the working groups, or simply would like to keep in touch with the work of SCAP and learn more. 

Anyone interested can visit to learn more and sign up as a supporter.