URGENT INFORMATION FOR OUR MEMBERS
PRESS RELEASE 17th July 2020
LEAGUE DELAYS AGM UNTIL NOVEMBER 2020
The Executive Committee of the League of Friends of Ludlow
Community Hospital today unanimously agreed to postpone the
Annual General Meeting until 11 November 2020 at 6.30pm in
St Peter’s Hall Ludlow.
The meeting which was due to be held
on 5 August 2020 is therefore cancelled.
Chairman Peter Corfield said today “It is only fair to avoid
exposing our members, some of whom are in the “at risk”
categories, to the possibility of contact with Covid-19, however
slight the chance. The reduction in day to day involvement by
the League in hospital services, the lack of information from the
Shropshire Community Health Trust (Shropcom) about any
timescale for the re-introduction of local outpatient clinics, and
the continuing doubts surrounding Future Fit and the future of
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals provide little justification for
a formal meeting.
Should the situation change between now and November our
750 members will be informed by Newsletter”.
The League has campaigned ceaselessly since 2005 for retention
and improvement of services at Ludlow Hospital and sees the
provision of care closer to home and a closer relationship
between the local NHS and Social Care industry as absolute
priority in post pandemic southwest Shropshire.
PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR THE LATEST LEAGUE NEWSLETTERS and MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM
Membership of the League Of Friends Of Ludlow Hospital can be paid for by cheque or by standing order. Subscriptions eligible for gift aid providing you are a UK tax payer. Members receive a League Newsletter each quarter which gives details of any developments in local healthcare or other issues that affect Ludlow Community Hospital. From time to time, should the Shropshire health commissioners or providers deem it necessary to conduct public consultation on the services they offer, League members will be briefed and their views represented by the League to the appropriate authority. There is no commitment - but membership does offer the opportunity for you to be informed and to have your say!
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Latest NEWSLETTER 53
Notices and updates
Since the tragic loss of our excellent Treasurer, Linda Binns, we have been anxious to appoint a successor to manage our book-keeping in conjunction with a local Accountancy practice. The role is primarily that of book-keeper using an appropriate computer based programme. Anyone interested in considering this home-based task, for which training and equipment will be provided should first contact Peter Corfield on 01584 318468.
The proposals for purchasing new chairs for the day room on Dinham Ward and consideration of an appropriate space to create overnight accommodation for patients’ relatives, together with any other requests for funding, will be considered once the role of the Hospital returns to normal (whenever that may be!!).
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 regulations, the 2020 Annual Bed Push has been CANCELLED. Currently there are no plans for further fundraising events at this time.
FULL NEWSLETTER - ISSUE 53 - June 2020
Compiled by Peter Corfield (01584 318468)
In Newsletter Issue 52 in January I unwittingly wished everyone a “Happy New Year”, unaware of the tsunami that was fast approaching - namely the pandemic Corvid-19. Astonishingly it seems more than likely that it had already arrived by Christmas, albeit unrecognised, and many people succumbed to “’flu” which, in retrospect, showed many of the symptoms now associated with Corona virus. As the world awoke to the enormity of the threat, in Britain there was the realisation that preparedness for the event could have been more robust.
However the dedication and application by the front line staff of the NHS became, and still is, inspirational. There is no doubt that despite limited facilities, years of downsizing, understaffing and underfunding, every individual gave of their best in the face of immense personal risk. The League has always admired and supported our nurses, doctors, clinicians and support staff and we thank all who have displayed the very best in caring for patients stricken by this hideous virus. We must acknowledge too the bravery of carers whether in Care Homes, as Care providers, as District Nurses or Social Care Staff who stepped into the high risk areas and cared so comprehensively for our senior and vulnerable citizens.
Thank you all, thank you to the sewing circles, to the volunteer groups and the countless good souls who continue to make lock-down bearable!
Activities within Ludlow Hospital appear to have altered significantly as the pandemic took effect in UK. Measures were taken to reduce the number of in-patients in order to meet the anticipated need to accept patients from the acute hospitals at Shrewsbury, Telford and Hereford initially, we were advised, for non-Covid cases. As a precaution, The League was asked to suspend all voluntary activities within the Hospital – tea, coffee and trolley shop services ceased in March. We have since gathered that a significant number of Covid-19 cases have been treated at Ludlow but the Community Trust has not confirmed this officially.
The Minor Injuries Unit continues to function as does X-ray, although patients are subjected to temperature and other checks and must remain outside the Unit until they can be seen by a clinician. It was disappointing to see that Whitchurch and Bridgnorth MIUs were temporarily upgraded to Urgent Care Centre status in preference to Ludlow. All outpatients’ clinics have been halted at Ludlow as the various Consultants were required to withdraw to their parent hospital bases. The Maternity Unit continues to function, we believe, and the Renal Dialysis Unit is operating six days a week. We are seeking an assurance that the outpatients clinics, particularly those that we have equipped with diagnostic or remedial equipment, return to Ludlow Hospital as soon as possible to enable care to be delivered closer to home. The only certain aspect of this is the uncertainty of the future.
How can we plan for the New Normal?
The continuing high cost of coping with Covid-19, including provision of the Nightingale facilities and other related capital investments makes it unlikely that we will see, in Ludlow, any benefit from the stalled FutureFit proposals. It is clear that we will, however, be required to soldier on with buildings that were beginning to collapse in 1839 and are today surrounded by scaffolding advertising 3rd world accommodation. It is a criminal folly that Ludlow Hospital should be forced to pay NHS Property Services a punitive rent of some £700,000 pa, a penalty which directly affects every cost of providing a service locally.
It is also highly regrettable that the lofty aims of the Health and Social Care Bill introduced in 2012 (and which caused the cancellation of the Ludlow new build project) should have resulted in the Care Industry becoming the poor relation when Corvid struck. For a number of years we have discussed options to aid the transition of patients from acute hospital to Community Hospital to care home or care at home – but there is a singular lack of foresight or imagination from Trusts or Commissioners. It is our firm belief that care closer to home is the key and this should be provided by properly equipped, staffed and designed hubs based on Community Hospitals, such as Ludlow. One day someone will listen!
There is scope and need for a closer relationship between the NHS and Social Care, including better training and career paths within the care industry, common supply and logistics facilities. Now is the time to learn lessons from this crisis based on recent bitter experiences.
Previous newsletter ........ see below
Newsletter Issue 52 – January 2020 Compiled by Peter Corfield
We greet 2020 with the sixth new government since we embarked upon the quest to Save Ludlow Hospital in early 2005! It is very tempting to summarise what has been achieved by those in authority in the past 15 years, but unfortunately that would merely be a catalogue of missed opportunities, disregard of the needs of local rural communities, expensive mistakes, under-funding, failed initiatives and cancelled projects.
Despite warnings from Town and Parish Councils, clinicians and health support groups, such as Leagues of Friends, the historical and frenzied closure of Cottage Hospitals, Mental Health facilities and non-acute hospital beds has led inexorably to the current appalling state of many aspects of the much valued NHS across the UK. Recent local experiences have revealed significant flaws in the once revered Shropdoc out of hours service and the Ambulance Service does not escape criticism either (over 2 hours response to a 91 year old who had suffered a fall, broken hip and broken ribs lying face down in agony unable to take essential pain relief). Someone, somewhere is looking at the problems through the wrong end of the telescope!
So what have we done about it?
Our League still maintains that there is an undeniable case to support Care Closer to Home, based where still possible on Community Hospitals. To this end we have, since 2006, invested heavily in improving facilities at Ludlow Hospital ranging from buying new beds, mattresses, ward furniture, day room furniture, new televisions, a relatives’ room, nurse call system, an entire renal dialysis facility to treat up to five patients simultaneously, a new x-ray system, ultrasound scanning, ophthalmic scanning and diagnostic equipment, audio testing booth, retinopathy camera system, physiotherapy equipment and equipment for the minor injuries unit. In addition we have funded the provision of 9 public access defibrillators in Ludlow, supported Ludlow Assembly Rooms film programmes for patients with learning difficulties and now have equipment in Dinham Ward to assist patients suffering from memory loss or dementia.
Despite our approaches over the past 3 years to Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals for them to use our ultrasound equipment for routine scanning, Ludlow area mums-to-be still have to trek to Telford – more “wrong end of the telescope”. It is difficult to believe – especially when the Chairman of the local Clinical Commissioning Group advised us two years ago to “make sure any equipment we bought had wheels on it” – clearly he has no telescope at all!
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