Shropshire Star

'Feelings are running deep!' Scores turn out to have their say on hospital shut for 20 months because of staff shortages

More than 100 people from both sides of the Shropshire/Powys border turned out to have their say on the future of Bishop's Castle Community Hospital.

The meeting in Bishop's Castle

Members of the public and former employees at the gathering at the town's community college on Monday queried whether health leaders were working hard enough - and paying enough - to recruit the staff needed to reopen the 16 beds.

"Look at how much you're having to pay agency staff," said one former nurse at the hospital urging them to increase nurse pay bands.

Health leaders said they would take the issues raised at the meeting and discuss them at a public board on August 3. They said they had tried to recruit to posts for 18 months, including a national campaign.

Councillor Nigel Hartin, one of the three local councillors who called the meeting, appealed for hospital chiefs to work with them to recruit people. "National recruitment to Bishop's Castle hospital means nothing to most people," he said.

Powys councillor Danny Bebb said: "I can't emphasise how important it is that we keep this.