By Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North.
Digging back through my records, I find a note from August 2013. It was taken at the Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) meeting at Ludlow Racecourse. Many of you attended. One panel member – I regret not making a more accurate note of who it was – said that Ludlow Hospital could become a community health hospital that people work out of – "could just be an office". In other words, all the beds and specialist treatment provided on the site will go. This scenario may well come to pass.
We have seen the remaining two wards "merged" into one. There is no occupational therapy. There seems to be no will in the Community Health Trust, which runs the hospital, to recruit enough staff to provide the level of service we need in South Shropshire.
The bed closures and the shutting down of services is an ill omen for the chances of Ludlow becoming an Urgent Care Centre under Future Fit.
Future Fit is the project to remodel hospital health services in Shropshire. Its numbers don't stack up. There will never be enough money to run five Rural Urgent Care Centres if they are to meet the specification being proposed by the CCG. Just as there wasn't to enough money to create a new freestanding A&E between Shrewsbury and Telford.
Tracey Huffer and I have written about this today. We call for: "A more practical, flexible model which makes best use of existing resources and fully recognises the rural nature of much of this county." Joyce Brand has responded with a very thoughtful comment.
Dr Catherine Beanland has set up an online petition calling on the CCG to designate Ludlow Hospital as an Urgent Care Centre. Please sign if you have not already done so.
Andy BoddingtonPublished and promoted by Shropshire Liberal Democrats, 72 Cannon Street, Shrewsbury, SY2 5HH
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Source: Shropshire Liberal Democrats