An MP joined volunteers at a recruitment drive to help reopen a town hospital which has been closed since October 2021 over safety grounds.

Philip Dunne was on hand to support the campaign on Friday, January 12, which aimed to ensure beds at Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital can reopen.

The local NHS trust, ShropCom, is running recruitment days to find sufficient qualified clinical staff to enable the beds at the Powys-border town hospital to reopen.

Following the closure of the beds due to an overreliance on agency staff, the Trust is looking to recruit additional full time equivalent registered nurses to work at the hospital, to meet national safer staffing requirements and to reopen the 12 beds.


Mr Dunne said: “I was pleased to join local volunteers and ShropCom in Bishop’s Castle for their latest recruitment day, which aims to secure enough nurses to safely reopen the beds at the Community Hospital.

“The initial recruitment day identified some registered nurses and other healthcare workers interested to work in the hospital and there were encouraging signs on Friday of new potential recruits for both registered nursing and healthcare assistant roles.

“It is good to see some progress being made towards reaching the required service level, with great support being offered by local community volunteers involved in the interview and familiarisation process.

“I hope we will see the interest expressed at the recruitment day turn into job offers being made and accepted so there can be real progress in reopening the hospital beds.”

A further recruitment day will take place next month on Saturday, February 24, between 10am and 2pm at Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital. Vacancies at Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital can be viewed through ShropCom’s website at

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In September last year, Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust directors decided that recruitment efforts to fill nursing vacancies at the hospital made over the past year had not been sufficient. 

Mr Dunne previously said: “The strength of local feeling in Bishop’s Castle on this issue has been clear for all to see.

“I am pleased ShropCom’s board has chosen to look again at further recruitment efforts, to ensure that all avenues to keeping these beds open is explored. 

“I have been engaging with ShropCom, the ICB, and local GPs and patient groups to push for any viable solution. So, I stand ready to do whatever I can to support these recruitment efforts, and hope we can recruit sufficient staff to reopen the beds at Bishop’s Castle Community Hospital as soon as possible.”