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Health campaigner Peter Corfield gets an MBE
5:04pm Thursday 2nd January 2014 in News
PETER Corfield has been awarded the MBE that marks the latest step in a career that has included the services, business and many years working for improved healthcare in Ludlow and the surrounding area.
The 73-year-old described himself as ‘astonished’ to discover that he had been nominated for the award that was given in the New Years' Honours List.
Since 2006 Peter Corfield has been chair of the Ludlow Hospital League of Friends and was involved in the initial campaign to save Ludlow Hospital and the fight for the new £27 million hospital and health village.
This scheme that should be nearing completion was brought down by Government changes to the NHS almost a year after it had received what was believed to have been final approval in the summer of 2012.
Peter was born at Brosley in Shropshire as a war baby in November 1940.
As a 16-year-old her joined the Royal Air Force at RAF Hereford and this led to a military career that saw him serve in the Middle East, Africa and in Germany.
His work in the UK included helping to set up the museum at RAF Cosford that opened in 1974.
After leaving the RAF Peter had a business career with the Ever Ready Group and then in advertising with Alan Brady and Marsh followed by Ogilvy and Mather where he helped to lobby for infrastructure projects in London.
He retired to Shropshire with his wife Gloria in 1997 and soon became involved in local community activities and charities.
During his time as a member of the Friends of Ludlow Hospital he has been involved in helping to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for equipment including dialysis machines.
Mr Corfield told the Advertiser that the fight for improved medical services in Ludlow will be stepped up in 2014.
But he believes it is clear the blighted £27 million hospital and health village is off the agenda at least for the time being.
"It is clear that the NHS does not have the appetite for an innovative solution to improving services at this time," said Mr Corfield.
"For whatever reason there was a change of heart and the case was put together to justify this. But it does not alter the fact that large numbers of people have to travel long distances for care that could be provided closer to home. We have to continue to fight to change this situation."
Mr Corfield was the leader of the campaign for the new hospital and health village on the Eco Park that was approved in May 2012 only to be blocked in July last year (2013) on the grounds that it was not economically viable.
One of the factors for this change of heart was the removal of maternity services from the calculation, although a subsequent review of maternity services by the Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group has confirmed a commitment to midwifery maternity units as part of a hub with consultant led maternity care continuing in Shrewsbury.
"The reasons for the change of mind over the hospital were very thin," added Peter Corfield.
The hospital and health village would now be nearing completion but got delayed as a result of Government changes to the NHS that allowed the original decision to approve the project to be reviewed with disastrous consequences for Ludlow.
Health chiefs have said that the existing town centre hospital is good for up to another five years.