Protest in town against plans for healthcare

County Hall, Matlock.
County Hall, Matlock.

Campaigners from across Derbyshire will converge on Matlock’s County Hall on Saturday to highlight threats to local NHS hospital services.

The march comes as clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across the county put forward proposals to change the way healthcare for the elderly is delivered - often meaning the closure of community hospital beds.

One such group, marching from Bakewell on Saturday, is opposed to the possible closure of Newholme Hospital, with North Derbyshire CCG suggesting care in the community - either at home or in nursing homes - will save an overburdened service money and be more effective.

A spokesman for Save Newholme Hospital said: “There is a lot of passion about this.

“The feeling is that the CCG has not taken into account that we are not a city, we are the Peak District and these proposals will put us at risk.

“No decision has been taken formally but we feel it’s ovious and the writing is on the wall.”

Another group marching on the day from Belper is NHS SOS.

Campaigner Mary Dwyer, 61, said: “Services are under threat, and beds are being moved to private care homes in hard-to-reach locations without full medical care.”

She added: “We want to ensure that no service is closed unless something as good or better is readily available to as many people.”

A spokesman for North Derbyshire CCG said: “Better Care Closer to Home builds on existing examples of best practice to help deliver care that is truly designed around the individual.”

For more information on the proposals for elderly health services in north Derbyshire, visit http://www.joinedupcare.org.uk.