Shropshire has been awarded more than £300 million in capital funding by the Department of Health to modernise its services.
Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East and a Ludlow nurse, welcomed the news.
“This is great news and so overdue. It will allow the county’s NHS services to be modernised. But this money should not be used as an excuse to centralise services in Shrewsbury and Telford at the expense of rural services and community hospitals.
“We must remember that this is capital funding. The assumption behind the grant is that modernisation of buildings and services will reduce day-to-day costs. That money can then be used to fund services in the community. But although the funding will lead to savings, the costs of health service provision are going up rapidly. The danger is that all the savings will be absorbed in Shrewsbury and Telford leaving a pittance for rural communities in Ludlow and the south of Shropshire.
“This money is to be celebrated. But we still need to address the underlying problem that Shropshire has one of the lowest health care spends per person in the country.”