A health service professional thinks if cuts are made to the Spencer and Fenton wards at the Cavendish Hospital, the ripples will be felt across the community and in other hospital wards.
The worker, who has asked not to be named, has raised their concerns over the new proposals.
“We are told there will be little care available for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s after 8pm and it is wrong to put so many people at risk by removing services,” said the worker.
Cavendish Hospital could lose its ten specialist mental health beds on the Spencer Ward as care would be provided through a Dementia Rapid Response Team (DRRT)on call county-wide, from 8am-8pm, and admissions would be made at Walton Hospital in Chesterfield.
Said the worker: “There are plus points to the DRRT but I think it should compliment existing services not be a stand alone provision.
“The idea of helping people before they need hospital is a good one just not a practical one.”
National research from the King’s Fund states ‘the number of district nurses employed by the NHS has decreased by about 36 per cent in the past five years’.
The health worker said: “When a person reaches crisis or breaking point meaning the patient or the carer can not cope that family will call the emergency services and the patient will be admitted to A&E.”
In a recent report by the Centre for Health Service Economics and Organisation stated emergency hospital admissions for people aged 65 and above have increased by 45.6 per cent going from 1.52m in 2001/02 to 2.21m in 2012/13.
There has been a 200 per cent rise in admissions for older people with urinary tract infections and a 246 per cent rise in patients with head injuries going from 17,600 to 61,100.
The professional said: “When a patient has a mental condition and then they develop a basic health problem they tend to stay in acute services much longer because there is not the social support to send them home which is why beds on Fenton are so valuable.
“In the long term this will only become more exasperated and put more strain on other services.”
The higher number of patients waiting to be admitted into a hospital bed from A&E puts pressure on beds in other parts of the hospital.
The proportion attributable to social care has risen from 26 per cent in 2014/15 to 31 per cent 2015/15.
The health professional said: “It is so important we make our views heard on how detrimental this could be.
“The consultation is a way to stop this happening, although I feel the North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Derbyshire County Council has been sneaky about this springing it on people just before the summer holidays when people are away but we must speak up.”
Andrew Bingham MP for the High Peak echoed these views. He said: “I would urge as many people as possible to contribute to the consultation as we need to emphasis the seriousness of the situation and how it will affect us here in the High Peak.”
The consultation documents are available at: Cavendish Hospital; all GP surgeries in Buxton; Andrew Bingham’s office; The Queen’s Head; The Advertiser office; Chapel-en-le-Frith Library; Thornsbrook Road surgery; Whaley Bridge Post Office; Furness Vale and Dove Holes Community Centres.
n A public meeting to discuss the issues will be taking place at Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens on Wednesday, September 7, between 6pm-8pm.