Health bosses give the go-ahead for work to start on long-awaited community hospital
After five years of planning, work is due to start within weeks on the development of a £27m hospital in south Shropshire.
Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust has announced the full business case for the development on Ludlow’s Eco Business Park off the A49 has been approved by NHS Shropshire County primary care trust and the West Midlands strategic health authority.
The facility will provide a 36-bed hospital to replace the existing Ludlow hospital on Gravel Hill, as well as new services such as chemotherapy, a number of day surgery procedures and a range of outpatient clinics. Ludlow Hospital League of Friends has also pledged £180,000 to help fund a centre for end-of-life care, and the building will provide modern accommodation for the town’s two GP surgeries.
This is the most significant investment in healthcare provision that the locality has ever seen and will ensure that care of the highest standard will be available closer to home
Conservative MP for Ludlow and chairman of the Ludlow Healthcare Forum, Philip Dunne, described this week’s approval as a ‘significant step forward on the long march to delivering 21st-century healthcare to south Shropshire’.
Mike Ridley, chairman of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said: “This is an incredibly exciting day for the trust and all the local people who have worked with the NHS tirelessly over recent years to achieve this remarkable new health building which can bring the benefits of 21st-century healthcare to south west Shropshire and Ludlow.”
Trust chief executive, Jo Chambers, added: “This is great news and represents the culmination of several years’ efforts to present a business case that could be approved.
"I am absolutely certain we can now build a fantastic new health facility that will provide the very best of modern health care while maintaining the traditional NHS caring approach.”
Commenting on the plans for a new end-of-life care facility, Peter Corfield, chairman of Ludlow Hospital League of Friends, told BBH : “This is the most significant investment in healthcare provision that the locality has ever seen and will ensure that care of the highest standard will be available closer to home. The League of Friends has pursued this dream since 2005 and has pledged to support the new facility, initially by providing two relatives’ suites at a cost of £180,000 and equipment and volunteers to help with the increased activity in the new building.”
It is anticipated the facility will open by early 2014.