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New hospital for Ludlow likely to be put on hold

Plans for a new £27m hospital in Ludlow look set to be scrapped thanks to a £1.1m-a-year funding shortfall, reports the Shropshire Star.

Members of the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust board will be advised that the Ludlow Health Facility project should be abandoned and board members will be asked instead to invest £160,000 into Ludlow’s community hospital to keep it up to standard for the next two to five years.

Julia Bridgewater, interim Chief Executive of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said: “This is a regrettable position and the recommendation to our board not to proceed with the Ludlow Health Facility may cause upset and disappointment to many people.
“But I believe it would be irresponsible to continue with the project at the risk of exponential financial difficulties which could affect other frontline services.

“According to the recommendations, the existing hospital and current services would continue. There are a number of additions and improvements which can be introduced into the current hospital with positive benefits for local patients.”

The project, which would also have seen the transfer of the town’s two GPs’ surgeries to the new site, was thrown into doubt after Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group refused a request to bail out the project by making good a £1.1 million annual shortfall for the next 25 years.