On 15th May, we emailed Philip Dunne MP asking him to support the retention of an A&E and acute hospital in Shrewsbury. We explained that over 1000 constituents had signed an open letter to him asking him to reconsider his position of refusing to back the A&E. The email is here.
The signatures were gathered in an extraordinarily short period of time, most of them within a ten day period prior to the general election. The strength of feeling around the issue was immense.
We asked for a small group of signatories of the open letter to have the opportunity of meeting Mr Dunne, to raise our concerns over the risk to Ludlow constituents if we lose our A&E and acute hospital.
Sadly we have not yet had a reply (although it was clear from a recent newspaper column that Mr Dunne had received the email). Mr Dunne’s reasons for not backing our A&E and hospital seem to have changed over time – but he remains consistent in his refusal to call for Shrewsbury’s A&E and hospital to stay open.
We will of course be contacting Mr Dunne again, and we will re-request a meeting with him. We had hoped he would listen to 1000 constituents. It is worth being clear, though. If we lose our A&E and hospital in Shrewsbury, and critically ill patients have to travel on to Telford, some of us within Ludlow constituency will die. We will not die along party political lines. We will die because the care we need when we are critically ill has been taken away through NHS cuts, and because longer ambulance journeys cost lives.
Of course MPs make a difference when it comes stopping A&E and hospital closures, and having Philip Dunne on board could be decisive in keeping the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital open. We need our two A&Es and our two acute hospitals in Shropshire – in Shrewsbury just as much as Telford. Telford is simply too far to travel if you live in South Shropshire. This is not about party politics. It is about people’s lives.
Gill George (Ludlow resident)