Time to have your say on unit’s future

It’s time for you to make your views heard about the future of Darley Birth Centre.

A public engagement period has officially launched this week as part of the NHS review in to the maternity unit in Darley Dale.

To coincide with the engagement launch the PCT’s chief executive David Sharp has produced a 12 minute video to answer key questions, which can be viewed on You Tube and the PCT’s website.

You can have your say online, by email, post, or by attending public meetings which will be held on Wednesday, September 7 from 12.30pm to 2.30pm and Monday, September 26 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the Whitworth Centre in Darley Dale.

An engagement document is available online at www.derbycitypct.nhs.uk or on request by calling 0800 032 32 35.

The form asks for your views on the services received and how concerns can be addressed should the centre close in the future.

NHS bosses said this week that Darley “exists for historical reasons rather than because of particular evidence-based health need in those communities.”

David Black, medical director of NHS Derbyshire, added: “We want to ensure that everyone in Derbyshire has the opportunity to let us know their views over this 12 week period.”

The engagement period lasts until October 23. A final decision will be made in November 2011.

Diana Dakin, chairman of Matlock Hospitals League of Friends, urged people to have their say.

She said: “People need to be aware that from now on they can state their objections about the closure of such a valuable asset in this area.

“It would be really helpful for people to say what their experience of Darley was and how helpful it was in establishing their bond with their baby. We need to stress the importance of the support given at the birth centre to new mums.”

The League has also criticised Mr Sharp’s video saying he dismissed post-natal care as ‘unnecessary’ and of ‘no clinical gain,’ failed to offer any figures on costs at Darley and side lined the issue of extra travel and extreme weather.