Shropshire Star

Campaigners plan empty chair protest over Bishop's Castle Hospital beds closure decision

Campaigners for a Shropshire community hospital will present a massive petition to an empty chair this week as they keep up pressure on health chiefs.

Bishop's Castle Community Hospital

Members of Save Bishop's Castle Hospital Beds will be marching from the town hall at 9am this Thursday to Bishop's Castle Community College where Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust (ShropCom) bosses had been planning to make a crunch decision.

The trust has since put back a decision by a month on whether to hand back its contract to run 16 inpatient beds at the hospital. They were closed 'temporarily' on November 1, 2021 but have remained mothballed ever since.

Campaigners estimate "at least 543 patients" could have been treated at the hospital since the beds were closed.

The trust says it is commissioning a report on whether it has done enough to recruit enough staff to continue with the inpatient unit. Outpatient services are still operating from the unit.

Campaigners claim the recruitment process was "flawed, ineffective, and lacklustre".

Also on Thursday morning the trust will be holding its board meeting - not in Bishop's Castle as campaigners had understood, but at Shrewsbury Town Football Club's ground in Shrewsbury.