The temporary closure of Bishop’s Castle Community hospital has come as a huge blow to local people who haven’t been consulted on the closure despite the hospital having been part of the fabric of Bishop’s Castle and embedded in the local community for over 50 years.
This week a community team was established by the health Trust that closed the hospital. The team consists of nursing staff, health care assistants and admin support staff with the aim of supporting people in their own homes, reducing ambulance conveyances, preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and facilitating early discharge from hospital. It is the same model that was implemented a few years ago when the hospital had to temporarily close whilst a new floor was laid.
Whilst this team of skilled and experienced staff is valued it begs a number of questions, why couldn’t this team have been in place immediately as an interim measure for when the hospital closed and why is it based in Craven Arms? . A team that serves Bishop’s Castle and the surrounding area should be based in Bishop’s Castle in the local hospital building which is an excellent resource but now closed up.
Shropshire Councillor for Bishop’s Castle, Ruth Houghton, said “When the hospital closed for refurbishment a few years ago, Shropshire Community Health trust set up an excellent team to provide support in the local community. Now we learn that the team providing this service is based in Craven Arms not operating out of our hospital site.
The loss of the hospital beds through the decision taken to close it raises even more questions to the ones already submitted by Councillors Heather Kidd , Nigel Hartin and myself which have still not been answered . Why base the new team in Craven Arms when the services need to be delivered in our area, after all we do have a perfectly good base located centrally in the town. Isn’t this only going to put extra strain on staff, add travel time and have an adverse impact on the environment with additional car travel which could be avoided. travel, any good either.
Is this yet another sign that the Trust is trying to close the hospital permanently through the back door without any consultation and with the loss of hospital beds at a time when our acute hospitals are coming under increasing pressure due to the winter and Covid”