Strong support for birth centre battle

Showing Support: Roy and Janet Iles of Darley Dale talk with Steve Walker of the Don't Ditch Darley campaign group as they sign the petition to save Darley Birth Centre.
Showing Support: Roy and Janet Iles of Darley Dale talk with Steve Walker of the Don't Ditch Darley campaign group as they sign the petition to save Darley Birth Centre.

The NHS plans to close Darley Birth Centre - a halfway between home and hospital – as health bosses say it is expensive and only 100 women a year use it.

But a long-running crusade to keep the Darley Dale facility open saw residents, visitors and shoppers in Matlock signing the petition against proposals in a two-day campaign.

The event was led by Matlock Hospitals League of Friends.

Chairman Diana Dakin said: “We had an absolutely brilliant response.

“We had people coming across the road when they saw the banners and one lady pulled up in her car, jumped out, signed the petition and took a questionnaire.”

The centre’s review began in May.

Campaigners claim the centre is worth the money and provides an invaluable service to the community.

Supporters spent Friday and Saturday at the entrance to Hall Leys Park gathering signatures.

Diana said: “One thing that came out was the fact the centre hadn’t been promoted and mums didn’t know they could go there.”

Families will be able to have their say on the future of Darley at a public meeting at the Whitworth Centre, in Darley Dale, on Monday, September 26, from 7.30pm.