COMMUNITY care, such as offered in Whitchurch, ‘has to be protected’ to keep people healthy, according to an MP after a recent visit.

North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan visited Whitchurch Community Hospital, in Claypit Street, to see for herself the range of services provided at the rural facility.

She has now pledged to fight for improved community care after a visit to the hospital, where she discussed the challenges facing Shropshire’s NHS.


“Care in the community is crucial in keeping people healthy, helping them stay in their home, and reducing the need for more urgent care,” she said.

“It is clear that we need to take community health services more seriously and invest to get the staffing levels we need for a large rural county.

“Whitchurch Hospital is a great example of community care in action.

“The team there work incredibly hard both in the building itself and the wider area to provide a high-quality service, despite being under increasing pressure from increased costs and real-terms cuts to their funding.

“Decades of centralisation, including the closure of community hospitals, have not helped rural communities, because care is best provided as close to home as possible.

“That policy failure needs to be properly addressed if we are going to get rural areas like ours the fair deal that they deserve.”

Whitchurch Hospital is operated by Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust and provides a wide range of services to the local area.

These include community midwifery, a minor injuries unit, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and a rehabilitation ward.

The type of patients normally seen by the hospital include people who do not need acute hospital care but may need rehabilitation before returning home.

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Mrs Morgan added that she has ‘long argued’ that investment is needed in community and primary care to combat long ambulance waiting times and ensure residents can access the support they need without having to call 999.

She also discussed staffing recruitment challenges in rural areas, and saw the bustling reception and ward transfer area in action during her time on site.

Now she is reiterating her pledge to campaign for improved community care services.