A NEWLY formed task force has drawn up a wish list of improvements to be carried out to revitalise Ludlow Hospital.
Following the collapse of the project to build a new hospital at the Eco-Park attention has been switched to making facilities at the existing hospital as good as possible.
With this in mind a task force has been established to look at the best ways of using the hospital to serve the people of South Shropshire.
"The message is Ludlow Hospital is here to stay," said Pat Hansen, a volunteer at the hospital and a member of the task force.
"There has been a lot of negative coverage in the press about the future of the hospital.
"There has been talk that Ludlow Hospital would only have £160,000 spent on it and only be here for another two years, and that because the new hospital was not built, Ludlow would stand to have no hospital at all. This is nonsense."
"We are now left with our existing hospital, and the task force has been established to look at the best ways of using it to the maximum benefit of the people of South Shropshire."
Work has already begun on improving the buildings with new flooring, redecoration, electrical and plumbing tweaks included.
"This is only the beginning. These are things that need to be done. We will also have new services for patients," said Pat Hansen.
A list of improvements has been drawn up by the task force following a public and patient workshop with those attending representing a cross section of the local community bringing a range of important ideas to the table.
They included local GP surgery patient and community representatives, a Healthwatch Shropshire representative, volunteers and staff from the hospital, and a representative from the local sensory impairment group.
Mark Donovan, patient engagement and experience lead, said: “Everybody at the event contributed and some fantastic suggestions were made.
“The group met again to discuss prioritisation of the ideas and these were then taken back to the Community Health Trust and the Ludlow Task Force for further development.”
Andrea Jones, from Healthwatch Shropshire, said: “ It was encouraging to see that local people are being listened to and involved in the development of their community hospital.
"Healthwatch was able to put forward the thoughts of those who couldn’t attend and will continue to do so.”