NHS chief faces quiz on Corbar

PUBLIC anger at plans to close Corbar Birth Centre has led High Peak Borough Council to invite an NHS chief to answer questions in Buxton.

NHS Derbyshire County’s proposals to shut Corbar for births sparked the Buxton Advertiser’s Hands off Corbar campaign and caused outrage among local residents.

And in response to the large amount of public opposition to the plans, the Council’s community select committee will quiz Sally Savage, the PCT’s assistant director of commissioning with responsibility for children’s and maternity services, at their next meeting.

The venue for the meeting, on Monday, September 5, has been switched from Glossop to St Nicholas Hall, Victoria Park Road, Fairfield, to make it easier for local people to attend and hear the discussions.

Committee chairman Garry Parvin said: “The meeting will help shape our response to an NHS consultation on the plans. “And it will help residents make up their minds on how to answer the questions being asked by the NHS in its online survey ending on Sunday, October 23.”

Anthony McKeown, executive councillor for community services, said: “If Corbar were closed for births, mums would face an 18-mile journey to Stepping Hill or 13-mile trip to Macclesfield Hospital.”

The formal engagement process about the future of Corbar Birth Centre is now underway. The engagement document is available online at www.derbyshirecounty.nhs.uk or by calling 0800 032 32 35.

Public meetings will also be held at the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, on Friday, September 30, from 9.30am to 11.30am and Monday, October 3 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

NHS Derbyshire County are reviewing the future of Corbar and the Darley Birth Centre in Darley Dale as part of plans to make significant savings as demand for NHS services increases.

David Black, Medical Director of NHS Derbyshire, said: “As part of the review we are asking people across Derbyshire for their views on the services and what their concerns would be if the units were to close.

“Only low-risk women can give birth at Corbar and Darley, but the cost is much greater than for low risk deliveries at the other midwifery-led units used by Derbyshire women. With the financial pressures the NHS is facing, it is important that we make sure services represent fair access to care and value for money.”

The engagement period lasts for 12 weeks until October 23 and a final decision is expected in November.

Over the last few weeks, thousands of local people have signed a petition calling on the trust to maintain services at Corbar.

The petition will be presented by High Peak MP Andrew Bingham to David Sharp, chief executive of the PCT at trust headquarters tomorrow afternoon (Friday).