Ludlow Community Hospital – is this the end?

Ahead of the meeting of Shropshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group on Thursday, 28 September, Tracey Huffer says the paperwork gives a gloomy prognosis for Ludlow Hospital. The Maternity Unit is closed. Services have been stripped out of the hospital. The commercially oriented NHS company, PropCo, wants to hike the rent. It costs more to run the few services left at Ludlow Community Hospital because health chiefs have left us with a half empty building.

Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East and a practising nurse, believes the writing is on the wall for Ludlow’s community hospital.

“We are witnessing the closure of Ludlow Community Hospital by stealth. I seriously worry that it will be closed altogether by this time next year. That will be a disaster for Ludlow and the rural southwest of the county.

“The maternity unit in Ludlow is already closed. The closure is said to be temporary but no one expects it to reopen. We may get antenatal and postnatal services in Ludlow, but pregnant mothers will have to go to Telford or Hereford. On a stormy winter night that is not going to be possible. Midwives will no longer work from the south of the county. We will see more babies born at home without medical supervision and on the A49 and A5.

“Bridgnorth community hospital is buzzing because it has more visiting consultants and services. Costs per patient have soared in Ludlow because the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH) no longer have ambitions to provide hospital-based health care in the rural southwest. Shropshire Community Health Trust, the body that runs the Ludlow Hospital, seems unwilling to promote our hospital as a vital and going concern.

“A few years ago, Health Visitors were based here. Now they are in Craven Arms. Our District Nurses will be moved from Ludlow Hospital to Craven Arms in the next few weeks. We used to have a rheumatology consultant visiting Ludlow Hospital. Now people must go to Hereford.

“The Minor Injuries Unit is slated for closure. This will clog up our overstretched A&E departments overnight and at weekends when GP practices are closed.

“Shropdoc will no longer have a base at Ludlow Hospital. If a child in Ludlow needs an urgent prescription for an asthma inhaler, that will be issued in Shrewsbury. This will lead to a surge in 999 calls for matters that should be treated locally.

“We have long been promised community health services in the southwest of the county. We are not getting them. All we are seeing is services sucked into Shrewsbury and Telford. Health managers are forcing elderly and infirm people to travel huge distances to have routine examinations and minor treatment.

“I fear that our community hospital is on the brink of closure. This should not happen. What we need is an urgent action plan from SaTH and the CCG to restore full services at Ludlow Community Hospital. To do any less, will consign tens of thousands of people who live in the rural southwest of the county to poorer services and poorer health.

“Health managers should be striving to improve rural health services, not finding excuses to close them.”

7 thoughts on “Ludlow Community Hospital – is this the end?

  1. What can we do ? How about a sit in. Not just overnight . I mean a constant prescence at Our Hospital. Until our paid for services are returned in full .The townsfolk cannot be ignored for ever………

  2. Yes I agree what can we do, it’s so depressing and you feel helpless….
    Our Health Minister MP is keeping his head below the parapet as usual so no change there…..

  3. Despite all the re assurances, services have been deliberately run down so the unit costs in Ludlow have for ever increased . The transfer of the site to Prop Co was always viewed with suspicion by many in the town when the new hospital did not materialise and the site did not revert back to the hospital. The fears that this was the beginning of the end, with the site being ear marked for building, seems increasingly to be true particularly in light of all the fudged replies we got about why the site had not reverted back from PropCo. The time is fast coming when nothing but a robust statement of support for the hospital and the health needs of our rural communities from our MP will suffice.

  4. Andy could you put a Poll on your blog to try and force the hand of the Phillip Dunne into taking action to support our Hospital. Who has done Little if anything with regard to this matter.

  5. I imagine Philip Dunne will use his classic ‘get out clause’ and say as a health minister he cannot show favouritism to his own constituency so begs the question what’s the point in having a local MP who does not represent the local community….
    The problem with having a large majority is that you don’t really have to do anything but just wait until the storm blows over…..BUT complacency is never a good strategy long term in politics as others have found out to their cost.

  6. I think the idea of a sit-in or something similar has merit, perhaps a sleep-in Although Philip Dunne has a get-out clause he also has an Achilles heel as Minister of Health – the national press could well fasten onto a health protest in his own constituency.
    Joyce

    1. Tough ! Phillip Dunne is Elected (not by me) to represent his constituents and their needs first and foremost not his own political ambitions.
      Our bigoted and biased press would do better to Highlight the fact that a town with a population of 11,000 plus is in real danger of losing it is already woefully inadequate health services a situation which at a very best assesment is shameful in the extreme.
      Of course the Press will do what they always do and that is print whatever filth , lies and innuendo sells their rags. After all why spoil a good story by telling the truth…

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