BISHOPS Castle has the best performing community hospital in Shropshire and long may that continue say supporters after a community services review.
Bishops Castle Patients’ Group and the Friends of Bishops Castle Community, Care Home and Hospital have joined forces to respond to the review.
They say they share a vision of making maximum use of the expertise and accommodation in order to develop services in the Community Hospital.
They were responding to the Community Services Review by the Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, whose team visited in November.
The two main facts from the review are that people living in southwest Shropshire make less use of A&E than anywhere else in Shropshire and that the Bishops Castle Community Hospital is the best performing of the five community hospitals in Shropshire.
The future of Bishops Castle Community Hospital and the minor injury services provided by local GPs is under review by the Shropshire CCG and their review is part of a wider look at NHS services outside the main hospitals.
The chair of the Bishops Castle Patients’ group is Jan Arriens and he said: “Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group gets a lot of stick, and cynicism reigns when it comes to patient engagement. On this occasion we commend the publication of a Draft Community Services Review and the early patient involvement.
“We make the case for a community NHS model that delivers care closer to patients’ homes, which is a clinically led integrated service bringing together community services with local GP practices.
“We value the minor injuries service provided by our GPs. We consider that this can be expanded, better structured and understood by patients and more appropriately rewarded."
Pat Morrison is the chair of the Friends of Bishops Castle Community, Care Home and Hospital and she added: “We believe very strongly in the important community service which the hospital provides. We have invested in the refurbishment of the hospital and assisted with funding for outpatient services.
“The SCCG review shows that Bishops Castle is the best performing community hospital in Shropshire and long may that continue.
“The nursing and health assistants are well respected. The building is in a very good shape. We consider that the value of our community hospital needs to be viewed through a wider lens than simply as a step down facility for acute hospital patients.
“We believe there is scope to offer more clinical, nursing and diagnostic services locally. This will reduce the very long distance elderly, frail, and young families have to travel to Shropshire's main hospitals. This will be especially true if the Future Fit preferred option to switch all planned care to Telford gets the go ahead.”