Campaigners have rallied round after the shock announcement yesterday that two community hospitals in Derbyshire could be facing closure.
Under the proposals to provide better care closer to home, a number of beds at hospitals across the county would be lost, while both Newholme Hospital in Bakewell and Bolsover Hospital would close. Find out more about the plans here.
A public consultation starts on Monday with a number of public meetings also being held.
Matlock Hospitals League of Friends said they were: “shocked, horrified and dismayed” at the announcement and urged everyone concerned about the likely loss of beds at the Whitworth Hospital to attend the meeting at the Joseph Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale on July 11 at 6pm.
They added: “We need the voice of our local community to be heard before it is too late. Please make your views known and prevent this possible loss of beds, closure of Oker Ward and relocation of community rehabilitation beds to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.”
Residents in Bolsover have also started a petition to save their hospital. Find it here.
Dr Ben Milton, Chair of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP at Darley Dale Medical Centre, said: “Medicine has changed for the better over the years. This means much of the care traditionally provided in community hospitals is just as safe to give at home where many patients prefer to be.
“It means more older people can still receive the quality of care that they need, from an expert team based in the community, without the strain of travelling to a community hospital or an unncessary admission.”
Public meetings will take place between 6pm and 8pm at:
• Bolsover School, July 4
• Bakewell Agricultural Centre, July 7
• Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale, July 11
• Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, July 12
• New Mills Town Hall, July 14
• North Wingfield Community Centre, July 18
• Dronfield Civic Hall, July 20
• Chesterfield College Heart Space, July 21
• Bolsover School, July 25
• Bakewell Agricultural Centre, July 27
• Coney Green Business Centre, Clay Cross, July 28.
More information about the proposals and the public meeting dates and venues is available here.