Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of people and will cost the NHS more

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year.

The list of cuts is appalling. Public health services will get a big hit. Giving up smoking, reducing obesity and promotion of healthy lifestyles will be hammered. People from Wales will be snubbed. There will be cuts to social support, including cuts to day centres, though there is doubt whether all the cuts can be achieved.

Continue reading “Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of people and will cost the NHS more”

Innovative Ludlow Young Health project to launch in February 2019

Last night, Councillor Tracey Huffer announced an important project to help young people with mental health and wellbeing issues in the Ludlow area. For some time, we have been saying that if no one else will help our town, we must help ourselves.

Ludlow Young Health is a project run by Ludlow Youth Partnership with the Children’s Society. Its initial aims are to provide informal drop-in advice sessions for young people (aged 0-25). We are the first market town in Shropshire to fund our own project with the Children’s Society. We are on a steep learning curve. But we have hopes that we can expand the project in the future. We are thinking big.

Continue reading “Innovative Ludlow Young Health project to launch in February 2019”

Shropshire in crisis: Health special measures and service cuts, future could be “Armageddon” – is it safe to live in Shropshire?

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is in special measures because patient safety is being compromised. Telford A&E will close overnight for safety reasons. Rural maternity units, including Ludlow, are closed for live births. For safety reasons. Shropshire Council is axing £4 million from its public health budge despite the opposition of the director of public health. The council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health is predicting “Armageddon” in public health services.

Soon, the medics will be saying its not safe to live in Shropshire. It is beginning to feel that way.

Continue reading “Shropshire in crisis: Health special measures and service cuts, future could be “Armageddon” – is it safe to live in Shropshire?”

Response to Future Fit consultation from Ludlow’s unitary councillors

This is our response to the Future Fit consultation.

Submission from the Shropshire councillors for Ludlow and Clee. 11 September 2018.

The Future Fit proposals have been controversial from the outset. This is in part due to the top down process where that has too often followed idealistic models at the expense of the needs and desires of communities. It has also occurred because three different interlinked debates have been happening at the same time. These debates are about national, county and community resources.

Continue reading “Response to Future Fit consultation from Ludlow’s unitary councillors”

SaTH launches a consultation to “temporarily” close rural maternity units permanently

Today Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust launched a six week consultation on the future of rural maternity services. It has kept this very quiet. The review follows the extended closure of MLUs in Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry.

Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East, says: “It’s almost a joke. It is so typical of the way that SaTH is working.”

[More…]

Tracey continues:

The midwife led maternity units have been closed for births for weeks. Now SaTH has launched a consultation intended to make the closure for births permanent.

SaTH may try to pretend that the closure of MLUs for births is temporary. The reality is that it will be permanent. It may blame a shortage of staff. The reality is that SaTH itself has created that shortage. SaTH may plead that women are “preferring” to give birth in Shrewsbury or Telford. The reality is that rural mothers have had no choice where to give birth because SaTH has constantly closed the rural midwifery led units at short notice.

I am lost for words. We have been here before. We have been backwards and forwards time and time again on closures and consultations.

But SaTH has not listened to anything said so far. Rural mothers around the county have shouted loud that they want to give birth locally. They have organised protest marches. But the health trust has not listened to anything the mothers who love the maternity units in Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry.

Families in rural areas deserve first class local maternity services. We have had that service until just a few years ago. The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust now wants to withdraw midwifery led maternity services from rural areas.

The time is long overdue for SaTH to recognise that it is also the Shropshire hospital trust. It must serve us all, not just Shrewsbury and Telford.

It will be a huge blow to rural life if mothers are permanently banned from giving birth in our community hospitals.