The CHAIR of Whitchurch's Patient's Trust has welcomed potential plans for a maternity hub to be based in the town.

Peggy Mullock, who is also a Shropshire councillor, responded after it was announced by Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group that the hubs would transform maternity services across the county, as well as Telford & Wrekin.

Mrs Mullock believes the move will help Whitchurch become a town at the centre of healthcare in north Shropshire.

"As chair of the Patients Trust, I obviously welcome any plans that brings more resources and funding to health care in Whitchurch," she said.

"Whitchurch is central to both Market Drayton and Oswestry as well as having easy access to Shrewsbury where babies are going to be born, so while it may seem that resources are diverted to us, it does make sense.

"The site at the community hospital has potential to be at the centre of improving health care across north Shropshire and is a welcome boost for us here after the loss of the town's ambulance.

"Looking forward, installing the north Shropshire maternity hub in Whitchurch, with the addition of the Pauls Moss development, means the town is better equipped once the impact of increased housing hits home.

"But we fully understand that these are just proposals and will wait and see how this plays out."

Dr Jess Sokolov, clinical lead for the Midwife Led Units (MLU) review and deputy clinical chair of NHS Shropshire CCG said the maternity system in the area is need of modernisation.

She said: "[What] we have now is what was in place when I moved here 30 years ago.

"We know from staff and the data that where there is low activity we often have too many staff, and where we have high activity, we need more.

"We aren’t offering the best experience we can for ladies and their families around the county so we need to look at the changes we need to make.

“At the meeting we’ve made some suggestions for the way forward, informed by the data from MLU usage, population demographics and what people have told us to date. It’s an outline of what we think we might need to do, but it’s not the finished article.

"We held the event to understand what we might have missed to date and hear the concerns and suggestions directly from staff and women who have recently used local services.”

Fiona Ellis, senior commissioning manager for the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Midwife Led Unit Review, added: “We are currently exploring where the best locations for these would be, but we need to continue to gather people’s views and suggestions."

Under the proposed new service model five maternity ‘hubs’ would provide midwifery care and a range of other services, ensuring equal access for all women and their families across the county.

The other four hubs proposed are Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Princess Royal Hospital, south Telford (Lakeside South) and south Shropshire (Ludlow).