May 26, 2023 11:46 PM
Originally published by Heather Kidd

Sudden announcement on much-loved Community Hospital

Residents, patients and Councillors in the Bishop's Castle Area have reacted angrily to the news that Shropshire Community Hospital Trust (ShropCom) is to try to close the town's hospital without a public consultation for the second time.

Ruth Houghton, Shropshire Councillor for the town said: "This is potentially devastating news for our rural community where access to alternative sources of health care is difficult and public transport is poor.

"It seems that Consultation started on 22nd but there was no notification to those they are consulting with until 25th May. Even now there are no details as to how to take part in it."

Local Councillors Heather Kidd, Ruth Houghton and Nigel Hartin have now arranged a public meeting arranged for 7pm (Doors open 6.30pm) in the Community College School Hall on Monday 2nd June. Simon Whitehouse from the Integrated Care Board and Patricia Davies the Chief Exec of Shropshire Community Hospital Trust (ShropCom) have been invited along with Lynn Cawley from Healthwatch Shropshire.

Heather Kidd said "We had an excellent Hospital in Bishops Castle delivering a quality service to local residents. It's pretty obvious the trust wants to close the hospital come what may. Already they have tried but had to backtrack as they failed to consult properly.

"People from our very rural area are now forced to take up Community Hospital beds in Whitchurch and Ludlow. Ms Davies agreed on several occasions to work with us and the community. That was an empty promise."

Nigel Hartin (Councillor for Clun Division) said: "Recruitment is much easier when you have a vision for the hospital and are innovative about its use. I asked for this, and they never thought one through. Who would apply for a job in a hospital under threat. They only tried to recruit locally once. Very poor?"

Ruth Houghton concluded: "This proposed closure would cut much-needed quality employment from the town and this surrounding rural areas. It is such a blow for those who loved working here and have now been transferred to Ludlow."