Councillor Tracey Huffer calls for STP health plan to give greater recognition to rural needs

Update 16 December 2016

Tracey’s motion was accepte by Shropshire Council.

Main article 8 December 2016

Councillor Tracey Huffer is calling for a greater recognition of the needs of rural areas in the new health plan (STP) for Shropshire. She is concerned that rural areas will be marginalised as the county’s health chiefs struggle to reduce the £12.3 million deficit at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) and the £25.9 million deficit at Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Tracey has put forward a motion to next Thursday’s Shropshire Council meeting calling on council leaders to lobby for the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) to give a greater emphasis on health delivery in rural areas.

Tracey is a practising nurse as well as a unitary councillor. She says:

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More than 1,000 turned out for Save Ludlow Maternity Unit march – thank you all

It was the best of marches. It was the best of causes.

On Saturday, nearly 1,200 people marched through the streets of our town in support of Ludlow Maternity Unit (LMU).

20161203_march_start-cropped-2000March leaders Sarah Meek and Alison Hiles

We could not have sent a clearer message to the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. We want the LMU to remain open with a full suite of services.

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Rolling road closures from 12 noon today for the Save Ludlow Maternity Unit march

It’s the Save Ludlow Maternity Unit march today. We are expecting hundreds of people will turn out. Please join us. 11.30am for a 12 noon start at the Cannon in Castle Gardens.

The march will take us from the castle through the market and High Street onto King Street. We’ll walk along Tower Street. Turning onto Upper Galdeford, the marchers will pass the top of Station Drive onto Gravel Hill. Turning briefly onto New Road, the march will end in the lower hospital car park.

If you are not marching, give us a toot or a wave. This is march driven by passion for Ludlow Maternity Unit. It’s going to be cut back and we fear it will eventually close.

We will be putting rolling road blocks in place to ensure the safety of the marchers. We will keep these closures as brief as possible. Details are below.

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New health trust plans will close maternity units overnight, including Ludlow Maternity Unit

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is planning to convert the midwifery-led maternity units (MLUs) at Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry to “birthing centres”. This means that the MLUs will not be staffed overnight. Women in labour will instead must call the units to arrange for them to open.

Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East and a practising nurse, is very concerned about the plans.

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Health chiefs will decide today on unacceptable proposal to close Ludlow’s renal unit

Update 1 December 2016

Gill George from Shropshire Defend Our NHS has reported on Facebook:

There was a fair bit of conflict today at a Board meeting of SaTH, the organisation that runs maternity services in Shropshire. They were challenged on all sorts of things…

We got a commitment that Ludlow’s renal dialysis service won’t be closed (at least for now).

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