Possible Cavendish Hospital closures would impact on support services

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As the Cavendish Hopsital is under threat one charity has said other resources need to be securely in place before a decision is made.

Voluntary and Community Services Peaks and Dales (VCS) is potentially facing cuts from Derbyshire County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for its travel services.

This would mean that if the Spencer ward closed and beds were lost at Fenton ward patients who rely on the transport facility may struggle to get to appointments if the funding is not approved.

Gill Geddes, chief executive officer for the charity, said: “If services at the Cavendish are reduced or removed there needs to be other resources securely in place before that happens.”

Derbyshire County Council and the CCG want to bring in a joined up care approach which would see Cavendish Hospital lose its ten specialist mental health beds on the Spencer Ward as care would be provided through a Dementia Rapid Response Team and admissions would be made at Walton Hospital in Chesterfield.

Eight community hospital beds on Fenton Ward would become specialist rehabilitation beds and across the county there would be 44 Beds with Care in nursing or residential homes to replace the other eight, at locations yet to be determined.

Gill said: “Our patients rely on us to get them to and from hospital appointments and at the minute we are in a horrendous limbo while we await the decision on our funding.

“This means there is uncertainty on how we would deliver this service in the future.

“We would of course still take patients to where they needed to be and if that was Chesterfield then it wouldn’t matter it would just cost the patient more.”

The group offer discounted travel for medical and social engagements for disabled, elderly or vulnerable people who pay subsidised mileage rate.

Alan Thompson, chairman of VCS said: “Without the wider support of the community and voluntary sector enhancing statutory provision, the proposal to bring care closer to home is undeliverable.”

Last year 231 volunteers donated 21,500 hours of their time to support the befriending and transport services and helped 2000 people in the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales.

Gill added: “We are now looking at applying for more grants which will help us in the short term and sadly if we are unsuccessful with our funding.

“We may sadly have to charge for more services that can bring in an income to support the services which do not bring in any revenue.”

A decision will be made on September 16 regarding the funding for VCS.