Wednesday 6 February saw the inaugural session of Ludlow Young Health, a wellbeing and mental health advice drop-in service. Nearly 50 young people and their parents or carers dropped in to the Ludlow Youth Centre in the first few hours of the service. It will now run every second Wednesday from 3.30pm to 7pm at Ludlow Youth Centre. The next drop-in will be 20 February.
Ahead of the Future Fit reorganisation of health services, should that go ahead, the Clinical Commissioning Groups are consulting on the renewal of the urgent care contract. This provides non-emergency treatments at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princes Royal Hospital in Telford 12 hours a day.
In a survey launched without fanfare on 1 February, the Shropshire and Telford Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are asking for views on providing urgent care treatment to the hours of 9am to 9pm. They are also asking if it would be helpful to pre-book appointments.
Last night was a night of political drama. MPs voted to move Brexit forward but their demand for the exit agreement to be renegotiated may well be blocked by EU leaders.
The Joint Clinical Commissioning Groups voted to close the A&E at Princes Royal Hospital, in favour of a single A&E at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Telford and Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies has already said that he will ask health secretary Matt Hancock to intervene. If that doesn’t succeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision is challenged in the high court.
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.
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.