A guest post from Shropshire Councillor Tracey Huffer.
Future Fit is a utopian ideal. With the financial cuts we are making, I can’t see that it is viable.
The plan seems to be that when A&E and other parts of the service can’t cope, patients will be dealt with by GPs and nurses. But we are short of GPs in this county. We have just cut back on District Nurses.
The Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group is consulting on the changes, but I’m getting the impression there is a huge head of steam that’s going to blast through these changes whether they are good for Shropshire or not.
I am really worried about the loss of the Minor Injuries Unit at Ludlow Hospital. All the minor injuries units in Shropshire are to be closed and replaced by Urgent Care Centres. But there is no guarantee that we will get an Urgent Care Centre in Ludlow. That will mean people with breaks, fractures, asthma attacks and all sorts of problems who are currently treated locally will have to go to Shrewsbury or Telford.
This really matters in Ludlow where on in four people are 65 years or over, much more than the county average of one in five. How are they going to get to the Urgent Care Centre after a fall if it’s not located in Ludlow? One quarter of households in Ludlow don’t own a car or van and they can’t drive for treatment elsewhere.
We are looking at hundreds of patients who will need an ambulance for a round trip of sixty miles or more when they at the moment can get a neighbour or taxi to the Minor Injuries Unit at Ludlow Hospital.
It doesn’t make sense to me and I fear that changes will ultimately lead to the closure of Ludlow’s hospital and put intolerable strain on our local GPs and nurses.
There will be a workshop on Future Fit in Ludlow on Tuesday 23 September, 10am-2pm at the Assembly Rooms. I urge everyone who is concerned about these changes to book a place by calling 0121 612 2805 or book online.