Shropshire protestors push bed 18 miles in effort to save hospital in Bishop's Castle

The bed being pushed from Bishop Castle's hospital
The bed push started at Bishop's Castle Hospital at 9am Credit: ITV News Central

A group of campaigners in Shropshire have pushed their local mayor through the streets in a double bed in an effort to try and save beds at their local community hospital.

Cllr Josh Dicken was pushed 18 miles through local villages after starting at Bishop's Castle Community Hospital this morning.

The 16 inpatient beds there closed temporarily in October 2021, but have yet to reopen.

A meeting on the 7th September will make a decision about their future.

The bed was pushed down Bishop's Castle High Street, as locals came out to watch Credit: ITV News Central

Today's 'bed push' was to raise awareness of the campaign to keep the beds open, and also to raise money for the campaign. More than £1750 of the £2000 target has already been reached.

Cllr Dicken told ITV News Central that the need for the hospital was 'desperate.'

He said: "There's a lot of affection for the hospital and there's a lot of need for it back.

"We drive 45 minutes from Shrewsbury and an hour's drive from Telford, which are the nearest acute hospitals and we're a 30 minute drive from Ludlow, which is the nearest community hospital."

Mayor Josh Dickens being pushed down the high street in Bishop's Castle Credit: ITV News Central

That was a sentiment echoed by the Chair of the Save Our Beds campaign, Jenny Sargent.

She said that today's 'bed push' was a way of 'getting the message home' to decision-makers and the local community that the area 'desperately needs the hospital.'

Shropshire Community Health Trust, which runs the hospital, has been contacted for a comment by ITV News but it has previously said that they can’t recruit enough nursing and healthcare staff to safely re-open the beds.