Health service campaigners from the Derbyshire Dales have reacted angrily to controversial new plans to reorganise the way that healthcare is provided in the area.
Under the plans, Bakewell’s Newholme Hospital would close as would the Oker Ward and many other beds at Darley Dale’s Whitworth Hospital - with the lost beds moving to Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Buxton’s Cavendish Hospital.
The proposals, which have been put forward by ‘21C’ - a partnership between the NHS, Derbyshire County Council and voluntary groups - aim to reduce the need for hospital treatment by caring for older people in their own homes.
Pam Wildgoose, honorary secretary at the Matlock Hospitals League of Friends, said: “We are shocked, horrified and dismayed at the announcement just made regarding the future of in-patient bedded care at the Whitworth.
“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.
“There will be an open public meeting at 6pm on Monday July 11 in the Brunel Room at the Joseph Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale.
“The League urges everyone who is concerned about the likely loss of all the beds at the Whitworth Hospital to attend this meeting. Your opinions will count.”
At that meeting, representatives from the North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the Derbyshire Health Services Foundation Trust and county council social services will be present to outline their proposals and to speak to local community groups.
The League of Friends has said it hopes as many people and organisations as possible will take advantage of this opportunity to challenge the proposals.
Interested parties can call North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group on 01246 514176 to request a speaking slot and copies of the consultation questionnaire.
As well as the Whitworth meeting, another public meeting will take place at Bakewell Agricultural Centre on Thursday July 7, from 6pm, to discuss the plans for Newholme.
The consultation will continue until Wednesday October 5.