January 17, 2022 7:00 PM
Originally published by Heather Kidd

Shropshire Councillors in the Bishop's Castle Area have expressed their anger at being snubbed by the Chief Executive of Shropshire Community Health Trust over the ongoing closure of Bishop's Castle Hospital.

Cllr Ruth Houghton (Bishops Council Division) said: "We wrote an open letter to Mrs Patricia Davies, the Chief Executive of the Trust on 29th October last. A reminder email was sent on 30th November. A response has not been received to either the letter or the email.

"The future of the hospital is of serious concern to residents across our area. Last May we were elected by our residents to express their views and concerns on issues just like this and yet we are being ignored by the Chief Executive.

"The Trust need to realise just how angry people are about this threat to our much-valued community hospital

Amongst the range of concerns raised were:

  1. When is the hospital going to re-open?
  1. The range of outpatient services still available at the hospital.
  1. . What other options are being explored to recruit staff for the hospital

Heather added: What really worries me is that there has been no move by the Trust to consult with the Community on any of this, we have just been left in the dark. By law the Trust has to consult with the public in any closure programme. My real fear is that the Trust is trying to close the hospital by stealth hoping that people are distracted by COVID."

Cllr Nigel Hartin concluded: "As usual the rural areas of Shropshire are being taken for granted again. If this hospital were to close it would mean a great deal of hardship for patients and families like having to travel to hospitals in urban areas. We already have much poorer access to health services across southwest Shropshire."