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New cuts proposed in Shropshire

9th May 2006

The NHS trust for Shropshire is planning to close a mental health ward and cut the number of beds available to patients.

The trust hopes the closure of a mental health ward at Ludlow Hospital and the removal of six beds from Whitchurch Hospital will help to save around £3 million.

There are also plans to slash the number of district nurses and health visitors working for the NHS in Shropshire, which is around £55 million in the red.

Proposals made earlier this year to close Bridgnorth Community Hospital and the Whitchurch establishment, which would have saved a total of £4.3 million, were abandoned following mass protests and petitions in Bridgnorth.

The new plans will also see the Stone House Hospital in Bishops Castle handed over to a non-profit organisation with 12 beds retained for NHS use.

The proposals are now going forward to a public consultation.