THE Ludlow based leader of a campaign to defend the NHS in Shropshire says that she fears that there is an intention to close Ludlow Hospital.

Health chiefs have consistently said that this is not the case but Gill George is not convinced.

Writing her column in this newspaper, Ms George says that she fears that staffing levels could be the reason that is used to shut Ludlow and other local community hospitals in the town.

“In April, they suddenly decided that all community hospitals must have at least 85 per cent permanent nurses in post,” said Ms George.

“This means Ludlow Hospital, 77 per cent permanent nurses, is on the hit list.

She says that any attempt to close the hospital would face strong resistance.

The former maternity unit at the hospital that was at one time the town workhouse has been earmarked for development as office and workshop space. It stopped being the maternity unit many years ago because of the condition of the building.

Ludlow hospital’s midwife led maternity unit was involved in the investigation into standards of maternity care in the county.

Ludlow Hospital League of Friends say that they remain committed to the future of a hospital in the town but have suggested a major initiative like the one time plan for a hospital and health village may be needed.