Five weeks on Still no re-opening plans for Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital

5 weeks on from hearing that the Community Hospital in Bishop’s Castle would close on a temporary basis effective 1st November, there are still no clear plans for re-opening the hospital beds.
At the Shropshire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee ( HOSC) local Councillors, Parish Councils and members of the Public had the opportunity to hear further from Shropshire Community NHS Trust.
Councillor Ruth Houghton for Bishop’s Castle says ” unfortunately we didn’t hear anything new although it was stated that in hindsight the hospital should perhaps have closed earlier due to the significant staff shortages. As a community, we could have shared job adverts and worked with the Trust to address the issue before the decision to close, albeit on a temporary basis, was made”
“It is apparent that the dedicated staff team went above and beyond what is required of them to keep the beds open for as long as they did”
“What is needed now is clarity on the feasibility options, timescales for the completion of these and a clear timetable with measurable milestones for the recruitment of staff to enable the hospital to re-open as soon as possible”.
Heather Kidd added ” we were informed that an additional 17 beds have been commissioned, 10 in Telford and Wrekin, 5 in designated settings and 2 at Lady Forester Care Home. We also heard at a later meeting about 17 beds being commissioned for winter pressures. What we don’t know is if these are the same 17 beds and what the net impact is of additional beds in the system following the closure of the Community hospital beds. Will these 17 beds make a difference?
Councillor Houghton went on to say” additional beds over the winter period are always needed to facilitate hospital discharges and prevent admissions to acute beds, these 17 beds though don’t help South West Shropshire at all. People living in our local community will still have to travel significant distances to visit family and friends”
An additional HOSC meeting will be scheduled for early January to review this further.