The future of a community hospital is in doubt - after NHS bosses refused to reveal if the treasured facility would be closing.
Around 150 people attended a meeting on Friday to have their say on Clay Cross Community Hospital.
Fears have been raised that the last 17 bed Alton Ward is to be axed.
Council chair Brian Wright, who led the meeting, said: “The question about the ward shutting was asked but they would not give a specific answer, they skirted round the issue but the meeting really did provide a good forum for the public to have their say.”
He added: “There is so much support and praise for the hospital. Without any doubt we don’t want to lose that facility in Clay Cross.”
Tracy Allen, chief executive of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said health bosses were looking at how to provide better care in the future.
Jim Connolly, chief nurse at NHS Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “All of our patients can be assured that we haven’t made any proposals about Clay Cross Hospital.
“We are in the process of listening to local communities about our vision and strategy for local healthcare and will continue to meet with Patient Groups, Parish Councils and other local groups and providers of care including local GP practices and social care. This listening period is vital in developing a better understanding of how we best use scarce resources and good community facilities to deliver the right care in the right place at the right time. This process will enable us to formulate proposals.”
North Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel attended the meeting and has been working closely with Save Alton Ward campaigners and NHS managers.
She said: “I think that Clay Cross Community Hospital has not done a very good job of letting people know what’s going on and as a result there have been a lot of rumours about what may or may not happen.
“Everyone loves the hospital and everyone who has been there for rehabilitation can’t sing its praises highly enough.”