“After this people will have no trust in public consultation.” That’s the view of Councillor Tracey Huffer after the Clinical Commissioning Groups decided to downgrade Shropshire’s rural maternity units. The plan, still subject to confirmation, is that only prenatal and postnatal services will be offered at Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry maternity units. Babies will have to be born somewhere else. As we have seen in Ludlow, that will sometimes be at home without medical support. This downgrading of rural services has been described by one medical professional as “a real and exciting opportunity”.
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.
Coming just days after the Feathers Hotel was closed after a guest died from Legionnaires’ disease, this is a worrying development.
What we know so far, we only know from the BBC. It is saying that this is a different strain from the Legionella at the Feathers and no one is at risk. I have been emailing public health and Shropshire Council officials since before 11am this morning. There has been no response. That’s shameful.
Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East and a practising nurse, is calling for Shropshire Council to hold an urgent scrutiny meeting to review the deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. She says:
“This is a very rare event. The hotel has responded by closing for the time being. But we need to ensure that lessons are learnt and there is no repeat anywhere else in Shropshire.
It has been a curious week for Ludlow. No one could have predicted that a local spat over a donation over a £2,500 would have led to a national row that went viral on social media and was splashed across print media. Just about all the national broadcast stations have covered the story. I have seen reports on ITV, debates on BBC and LBC, and coverage in almost every national and regional newspaper.
It is time for Philip Dunne to speak. He should tell us whether he stands on fundraising and expression of gender in the NHS.