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Where is joined-up thinking on health?

By Shropshire Star | Readers' letters | Published:

On 9th November 9, I was one of 600 people who attended a public meeting in Ludlow to discuss the threat to the county’s community hospitals.

I listened with admiration as two courageous GPs from Ludlow criticised the county’s Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) centralised approach to health proposals which threatens closure of community hospitals.

They said that data in the document published by the community services review is being used in a “misleading and biased way in order to favour the closure of some or all community hospitals. As rural doctors we feel It’s unfair for our patients to have to travel 30 miles to the nearest acute hospital without any consideration of their local needs”.

Although Bishops Castle hospital re-opened having been closed for 4 months, some staff had found jobs elsewhere, so agency nurses are being used (at huge expense) to fill the gap. And, because the CCG are not adequately funding Shropdoc, there are fears that BC hospital is not getting the same level of overnight cover it enjoyed previously, which, in some cases, could see patients being taken, by ambulance, to Shrewsbury. Putting additional pressure on both ambulances and acute hospital beds.

Given that the lack of beds is contributing to the A&E crisis, closure of community hospitals and reducing Shropdoc funding, can only exacerbate the problem. On top of that, both our A&Es are in constant crisis. What’s the CCG’s solution? Axe one of them. With each piece of our NHS jigsaw being removed, the whole lot is on the verge of collapse.

Where’s the joined up thinking and where’s our MP? It’s no wonder Philip Dunne was booed and heckled at the meeting in Ludlow. It’s increasingly clear that he works for Westminster, not us, his beleaguered, under-funded, overlooked constituents.

Tess Finch-Lees, Concerned Mother

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