THE emergency department at a major hospital serving Ludlow and south Shropshire is to be expanded.

It is planned that the improvements will be made at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

The government is funding a £9.3m transformation, which will increase the clinical space, with new Majors in the A&E area, a designated Emergency Zone for Children and Young People, and provision for vulnerable patients.

These measures are intended in part to address the concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission around the treatment of young people and mental health.

The building work will take place in four phases over the next 12 months, with the first phase already under way to create the larger and improved Majors zone in the A&E for those who are seriously ill.

Ludlow MP and former health minister Philip Dunne has welcomed the additional funding.

“This significant £9.3m investment to improve capacity in the Emergency Department at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is good news for south Shropshire patients,” said Mr Dunne.

“I hope this will play a role in addressing some of the concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission, providing a better environment for both patients and the clinical staff.”

Anyone in Ludlow requiring a major hospital is likely to be referred to Shrewsbury.