There seems to be only one topic in Ludlow at the moment. Last Friday, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust announced that the current Stretton Ward at Ludlow Hospital will close.

Since then, there has been a whirlwind of comment online and in the media. People are scared that this move presages the closure of our hospital.

It’s hard to pinpoint the truth about what’s happening. Why was no one consulted? Is the change permanent? Has the number of beds been reduced?

Is Stretton Ward actually being closed? Not according to the Community Health Trust, which says Stretton and Dinham are simply joining together. It’s all about patient safety.

The Clinical Commissioning Group – the body that provides the cash for Ludlow Hospital – seems happy with the move.

But I can speak for councillors across the Ludlow area in saying that our phones have not stopped since the community learnt of this decision on Sunday. Our email inboxes have been flooded.

Ludlow Town Council last night voted to oppose the closure of Stretton Ward. They have joined with Shropshire Council’s Local Joint Committee to host a meeting to get all parties together to find out what is happening and discuss the consequences.

Join us at that meeting. It’s going to be an open debate.

Jan Ditheridge, chief executive of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, will be joining us. The CCG has been invited. Locals GPs are coming along. We asked Philip Dunne if he will attend.

But mostly this is about you, your opinions and your experiences.

Join us at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Broad Street at 7pm on this Thursday. Doors open from 6.45.


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