LUDLOW Hospital is starting to return to some kind of normal.

A year ago the hospital was being used to help to treat some patients with Covid-19.

Now with the pressure on the health service from the virus falling there is a return to something like service as normal.

But these are very challenging times for the NHS with the on-going roll out of the vaccination programme, the possibility of a further surge in coronavirus cases and the need to catch up on treatments that have been delayed because of the pandemic.

The following outpatient clinics and services, including the Minor Injuries Unit are now running at Ludlow and the Department is running at full capacity: Rheumatology Gynaecology Ultrasound; X-ray, Podiatry, Continence Vascular Audiology, Ophthalmology, Parkinson’s Physio, adult

Speech and Language, Physio Paeds.

Minor Injuries is open each day from 8am to 8pm and referrals to the clinics at Ludlow may be arranged by GPs.

The Ludlow MIU/OPD is led by Leigh Dalton, Emergency Care Practitioner. OPD is the unit that decides where to send patients for treatment.

The Ludlow Hospital League of Friends says that it is anxious to establish the reason for the recent transfer of responsibility for MIU/OPD from Management of Ludlow Hospital to a Department of Shropshire Community Health Trust, based in Shrewsbury.

As well as the many outpatient clinics, Ludlow Hospital has a small number of inpatient beds although the number has been reduced over the years.

These are used for respite and to care for patients that do not need the support of a larger acute hospital like the Royal Shrewsbury or the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford but are not well enough to look after themselves at home.

The League of Friends say community hospitals, like Ludlow, are vital in taking pressure off larger hospitals, accident and emergency and 999.