LETTER: Hospital beds decision ignored patient opinion

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Matlock Hospitals League of Friends is angry, sad and fearful about the decision by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) to close all Community Hospital Beds in North Derbyshire, except eight in Buxton.

This includes all beds at Whitworth Hospital.

Angry because the consultation that called for “Better Care Closer To Home” turned into “Care Further From Home” for those requiring hospital care.

The CCG rubber stamped what we feel was their predetermined plan, effectively ignoring thousands of consultation replies, thus rendering the process a farce.

Sad because of their decision to close Oker Ward at The Whitworth in about two years time.

This would be a loss of a superb ward which a few years ago had its facilities upgraded to the highest standard at a cost of around £1million to the NHS and many tens of thousands more from the local community through the League of Friends.

More important is the quality of care provided by the staff with their compassion recently acknowledged by a special award from NHS Derbyshire Community Health Services Trust.

Fearful for the elderly and single members of the population who have families unable to help due to reasons of distance, time or their own difficulties. We believe that Social Services can hardly cope at present and will be overburdened with the vast number of patients requiring care at home.

This would result in lonely vulnerable patients suffering at home and an increase in re-admittance to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

The League hopes that if the CCG finds difficulty in implementing the whole scheme that changes could be made. In the mean time we beg everyone to ask their medical team for a bed in Oker Ward if appropriate for their needs.

All other services will remain at Whitworth Hospital and again we ask that patients request clinic and out-patient treatment there to secure its future. Some Chesterfield Hospital consultants already have clinics at the Whitworth.

The more the hospital is used the more likely it is to stay open and be the centre we all highly appreciate.

The League will continue to support Whitworth Hospital to the full and use local donations wisely.

Pam Wildgoose

Hon. Secretary

Matlock Hospitals League of Friends