A big change is coming to 999 ambulance services in Ludlow – response times will grow

From the end of May, ambulances and paramedics will no longer work out of Ludlow. We don’t have a formal ambulance station here but staff are based at Ludlow Community Hospital between call-outs. Even then, only 28% of top priority calls get a 999 team arriving within eight minutes in the SY7 area. The response time is 18 minutes on average. Sometimes it takes an hour.

Quick response times are crucial in saving lives and preserving the quality of life. Several minutes will be added to response times when the 999 crews move to Craven Arms.

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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.

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BBC Radio Shropshire reveals second incident of Legionella bug in Ludlow

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.

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How do you maintain choice for mothers by closing maternity units?

Today, the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) issued a press release about the plan to convert midwifery-led maternity units (MLUs) in Ludlow, Oswestry and Bridgnorth to on-call services. This means that mums-to-be must ring to arrange for a midwife to come to unlock the maternity unit before care can be provided for the mother and child. This could possibly work if births came according to a prearranged schedule but that’s not the way that pregnancies run. SaTH says this will “maintain choice for mums-to-be”. I can’t see that being the case.

If you don’t use a health facility, it will be closed. The mums-to-be I have spoken to are clear that they need certainty. They fear they will call a midwife when in labour and none will be available outside Telford. They need a clear pathway at an uncertain time of life. This panic plan will not deliver that. What it will deliver a few months from now is the permanent closure of rural midwifery units.

The SaTH press release is reproduced in full below.

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Tracey Huffer fears we will lose our midwifery-led maternity units

Tracey Huffer, Councillor for Ludlow East and a practising nurse, has issued a statement on the news yesterday that the midwifery-led maternity units (MLUs) will be converted to an on-call system. She said:

“The Trust that runs Shropshire’s main hospitals has in recent discussions put forward proposal to replace all three midwifery-led maternity units (MLUs) in Ludlow, Oswestry and Bridgnorth with an on-call system. This effectively means a woman in labour will have to telephone through to request a midwife to meet them and unlock the doors to the unit! This will possibly be 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.

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