Campaigner’s complaint letter for CCG over Cavendish decision

Cavendish Hospital in Buxton
Cavendish Hospital in Buxton

Campaigners fighting the closure of the Spencer Ward at Buxton’s Cavendish Hospital have expressed their “disgust” at the decision in a letter to health chiefs.

The damming response by the Buxton Action Group has been submitted in the wake of the controversial plans under the Better Care Closer to Home proposals which were made by North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Hardwick CCG.

The action group said they were “disgusted” with the outcome and planned to take their complaint to the health ombudsmen if it could not be resolved by the CCG.

Jen Francis, a member of the group, said: “I think Buxton has got the real short straw because of where we are geographically and the plight of the carers has been forgotten.

“We have been told to just accept this decision and there will be no appeals process, which is just wrong.”

Cavendish will lose all of its older people’s mental health beds on the Spencer Ward and eight community beds on Fenton Ward - with the remaining eight becoming specialist rehabilitation beds - as a result of the Better Care Closer to Home proposals.

A Dementia Rapid Response Team will be brought in to be on call county-wide from 8am to 8pm and acute admissions would be made to the new centre of excellence at Walton Hospital.

Jen said: “It is a mission to get to Chesterfield on most days, but there has been no consideration to elderly carers making the journey. What if there is only restricted visiting hours which don’t match up with public transport?

“It’s not fair, it’s not right and is down-right disgusting, with little thought of the pressure it will put carers and families under.”

The letter, addressed to North Derbyshire CCG, said the decision making-body was ‘not fit for purpose’, citing a lack of understanding of mental health needs, accessibility needs, loss of Spencer’s centre of excellence, equality and the overall effect on the quality of dementia care.

It adds: “The North Derbyshire CCG has shown discrimination by failing to give parity of esteem to mental health needs against physical health needs, by retaining rehabilitation beds at Cavendish Hospital while transferring mental health beds to the poorly-performing Walton Hospital in Chesterfield.

“Only one member of the CCG made a visit to Spencer Ward prior to the decision to close, others obviously basing their decision on financial considerations.”