Shock as only one GP surgery spoke out to save Cavendish Hospital

Cavendish Hospital in Buxton
Cavendish Hospital in Buxton

The lack of support from GP surgeries to keep Spencer and Fenton wards open at the Cavendish Hospital has been slammed by a councillor.

Hospital campaigner Kath Sizeland, who is also a High Peak Borough Councillor for Chapel West has been fighting to save the wards which face possible closure under the Better Care Closer to Home proposals.

She said: “Out of all the GP surgeries in the High Peak only Elmwood Medical Centre has spoken out during the consultation.

“It is so disappointing that other surgeries are not putting patients first and saying this is wrong. We are all in this together and anything which impacts on patient care should be dealt with very seriously by everyone involved incliding GP surgeries.”

Under the proposals Cavendish Hospital could lose its ten specialist mental health beds on the Spencer Ward and eight community beds on Fenton Ward would become specialist rehabilitation beds and across the county.

The information in the stakeholders report highlighted Elmwood Medical Centre - which is the sole practice to cover Spencer Ward and shares Fenton ward with other practices - as the only surgery to speak out during the consultation.

Speaking on behalf of the medical centre Dr Tim Hodgkinson said: “The practice recognises the expertise and variety of services these wards offer to patients not just from Buxton but the surrounding isolated rural areas.

“We welcome the possibility of a rapid response community dementia team, but voiced concerns including potential travelling difficulties especially for family/friends visiting relatives at Walton Hospital, if Spencer ward was closed.

“It is also essential any implementation of new or change of existing services should be seen to be workable and effective before disbanding any current services.”

Kath said: “I know some medical professional submitted responses personally but I urge people to contact their surgeries and find out why they didn’t speak up to champion patients’ interests and make their voices heard before it is too late and we lose vital services.”
Other High Peak stakeholders who completed the consultation were Andrew Bingham MP, High Peak Borough Council, Cavendish hospital NHS, Cavendish hospital – Spencer Ward, Buxton Women’s Institute, Elmwood Medical Centre Patient Participation Group and Chapel-En-Le- Frith Parish Council.

Kath added: “The High Peak is at a disadvantage as the decision making bodies are all based in other parts of Derbyshire. This means the only remaining chance residents have to make further input is through their doctors surgeries as they are members of the decision making body.