Controversial changes to the way healthcare is provided at Buxton’s Cavendish Hospital have been discussed in Parliament.
High Peak MP Ruth George highlighted the planned closure of the hospital’s Spencer Ward and reduction in beds on the Fenton Ward, during a debate on health in the House of Commons.
She said: “All of the local dementia and rehabilitation beds in my rural constituency of High Peak are earmarked for closure.
“In some cases, patients and their families will have to travel 25 miles across the moors to Chesterfield.
“Given the importance of staff being able to work with families to support patients to return home, will the minister agree to look again at such decisions, which make this work practically impossible?”
Philip Dunne, the Minister of State, Department of Health, replied: “The honourable lady will be aware that the sustainability and transformation plans being considered for her area include providing more services in the community by community nurses and other nurses in our community hospitals being reassigned, which will allow them to undertake care for more patients than they can at present within community hospitals.”
In July, North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Hardwick CCG voted to close wards across five Derbyshire hospitals which look after older people’s mental health and community health, following a year of consultations and campaigning.
By 2020 Cavendish Hospital will lose its ten specialist mental health beds on the Spencer Ward as care would be provided through a Dementia Rapid Response Team on call county-wide between 8am to 8pm, and admissions would be made at Walton Hospital in Chesterfield.
Eight community beds on Fenton Ward would become specialist rehabilitation beds and across the county there would be 44 Beds With Care in nursing or residential home to replace the other eight, at locations as yet unknown.
Campaigners sent a formal letter of complaint to the CCGs regarding it decision and Kath Sizeland, who has been championing to save the wards for more than a year, described the subsequent response to that letter as ‘inadequate’.
She said: “A lot of the proposed standard of the care in this area is based on the South Derbyshire model. North West Derbyshire is more rural with less resources.”