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Ludlow hospital plan - like witnessing a ‘funeral’ of town’s dream
ADRIAN Kibbler was present on a dark day for Ludlow as Shropshire Community NHS Trust sent the hospital and health village to oblivion.
THIS felt like a funeral and in many ways it was – the final putting to rest of a dream made all the worse because if ever defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory it was the Ludlow Hospital and Health Village.
Peter Corfield, chairman of the Ludlow Hospital League of Friends, who has devoted a decade of his life to fighting first to save the old hospital and then for the new one, was cast in the role of chief mourner.
He was the recipient of numerous and sincere words of appreciation and condolence that I am sure will count for nothing to the man who spoke with quiet dignity.
Dr Graham Cook, from Station Road Surgery questioned if enough had really been done to salvage what he described as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity.’ Julie Bridgewater and Michael Ridley, chief executive and chairman respectively of the Shropshire Community NHS Trust, played a dreadful hand well as they could in the circumstances.
The promise of a review of the management of the project provided some red meat to those who want to see heads a plate but the promise of a task group to look at future options cut little ice.
Michael Jones, deputy chairman of the Hospital League of Friends, dismissed this as ’waffle’ and Ludlow councillor Rosanna Taylor-Smith hoped that it will not be just be a ‘talking shop.’ The whole tone of the proceedings was one of resignation and most contributions were made in sadness rather than anger and greeted with politeness by those present at Ludlow racecourse. The vision of a new hospital was now over.
But Ludlow MP Philip Dunne adopted a contrasting style with a blistering and wide ranging broadside against the senior NHS management omitting only to mention the fact that but for the changes to the NHS introduced by a Government of which he is a member the Eco Park site would now be a buzzing building site with the facility nearing completion.
That’s politics for you and people were probably far too weary to respond.
When the trust board went through the formality of voting to bury the project for once and for all they did so in total silence.
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