A PETITION calling for a review of plans for the county’s two main hospitals has collected more than 400 signatures.

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has criticised the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital (SaTH) NHS Trust over its proposals to downgrade women and children’s services at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH).

Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital would take on consultant maternity and neonatal and paediatric units under the shake-up.

The e-petition has been launched by midwife Wendy Hayeck who is demanding that consultant maternity, neonatal and children’s services, including oncology, are retained at the RSH.

Mr Kawczynski is urging constituents to sign the e-petition on the Government’s website.

If it receives at least 100,000 signatures it will be eligible for a debate in the House of Commons.

Go to http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/18989 to sign the petition before April, 2012.

Meanwhile, bosses at SaTH have quashed fears that switchboard operators taking calls at the two hospitals will lose their jobs when a new automated answering service comes into force next year.

Currently telephonists are in charge of taking calls from members of the public and providing a 24-hour service for emergency crash calls for doctors and raising alarms.

It is hoped the automated system would free up telephonists’ time to speak to callers.

Joanne Yale, head of facilities at the trust, said the changes would not cause any redundancies among the 21 staff.