Derbyshire hospital closures are ‘short-sighted and risky’ claim patients

Sue Cook and her husband Jack are concerned about the closure of Bolsover Community Hospital.
Sue Cook and her husband Jack are concerned about the closure of Bolsover Community Hospital.

A woman whose husband was cared for at Bolsover Community Hospital has said plans to close it are ‘shortsighted and risky’.

Jack Cook, from Eckington, recently spent three months in hospital – with the last part of his rehabilitation being spent at the Welbeck Road centre.

By closing these places so quickly there is no opportunity for any opposition.

Susan Cook

North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group has promised that no community hospital will be closed before a replacement system is fully in place. But Jack’s wife Susan said they waited 10 days for a home care package to be sorted out – and that without the support of the team at Bolsover, the couple would have been ‘lost’.

She said: “The idea was that none of these facilities would close until there was adequate care in the community.

“But I really don’t believe that there is currently such community care available.

“The closure of the hospital just before we start with the winter rush is shortsighted and risky – and is not following what was said in the consultation. By closing these places so quickly there is no opportunity for any opposition.”

A spokesman for the North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Since the governing bodies of North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Hardwick CCG met in public at County Hall on July 24, a Better Care Closer to Home (BCCTH) implementation group has been set up and the full implementation plan is currently in development.

“As part of this work both CCGs and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust are working with all NHS partners in Derbyshire as well as social care to look at the best way to make use of the resources available in the east of the county.

“The implementation principles that both governing bodies signed up to when they met in public on Monday July 24 at County Hall in Matlock are absolutely at the heart of these discussions.”

‘Better care closer to home’

A consortium of healthcare bodies in Derbyshire announced in July they would press ahead with controversial plans to change the way people are cared for in the county.

The aim of the plans is to provide care closer to home for older people receiving inpatient care in a community hospital or for older people with dementia who currently receive services from community hospitals.

Health bosses say that if the proposals were introduced, over time it will reduce the demand for community hospital beds.

This would mean the closure of some hospital wards, and eventually, the closure of both Bolsover and Newholme hospitals.

But campaigners in Bolsover, Bakewell and Matlock said the plans would close wards and hospitals with long-standing reputations for providing excellent care.

They also said that the new home care system, while good in theory, needed to be in place and working well before any major changes were made.