HIGH Peak MP Andrew Bingham is strongly opposed to the proposed closure of Corbar Birth Centre for births.
Last week he wrote to the health trust, asking them to remove the unit from any consultation on the future of birthing units in the area but the trust still agreed to go ahead with a review of the facility. His letter said:
“CORBAR provides not only a much loved and valued facility for the residents of Buxton and the surrounding towns and villages, but also a vital one.
“Any doubts over its future will, and already have, caused a great deal of public concern in little more than a week since it became public knowledge. The removal of Corbar would have serious consequences for expectant mothers.
“They would face having to travel to either Stepping Hill in Stockport or to Macclesfield to give birth. Given the location of Buxton this would mean a journey of many miles, and in the winter these miles would be even more difficult due to the severity of winters experienced in and around the Buxton area.
“I would point out that the road from Buxton to Macclesfield has recently been named as Britain’s most dangerous road, yet any decision to close Corbar would send mothers in labour down this hazardous highway at a time when their safety must be the first concern. The alternative road to Stockport is a busy road, festooned with traffic light, junctions and very heavy traffic. This would also prove dangerous and distressing for mothers in labour.
“It would lead to a trend of births in ambulances in the various lay-bys of the two relevant roads.
“I appreciate that you have to make decisions in light of pressure faced due to an ageing population and new drugs and treatments, but likewise you will have choices and options.
“I feel strongly that this is the wrong one and by pursuing it you remove such choices and options from the expectant mothers of the High Peak. I urge the Board to remove Corbar from the consultation at the meeting today and spare my constituents from the worry and concern already caused”.
Mr Bingham’s letter was read out to the meeting but board members agreed to go ahead with an engagement process on the future of the birthing unit.
Speaking after the decision was taken, Mr Bingham said: “The Derbyshire PCT decision to go ahead with a consultation on the future of the Corbar birthing unit is a great worry.
“I spoke to the Chief Executive and also requested that a statement be read out at the Board meeting pointing out the absolute folly of any proposed closure, but they refused my request to remove Corbar from the consultation. Their rationale is new drugs and treatments together with an ageing population are increasing their costs.
“I have told the Chief Executive that if they pursue this course of action then I would fight them every inch of the way, which is what I and many others will now do.
“I am having a further meeting with the Chief Executive this week during the recess before then meeting with others locally to draw up plans for our planned action day on June 18. Watch this space for further news!”