Tory High Peak candidate accuses Labour rival of 'scaremongering' over local NHS services
Candidates for High Peak draw battle lines over NHS services in Buxton and New Mills.
The Labour candidate in High Peak has been accused of ‘scaring’ voters across the constituency after starting a petition to ‘Save Buxton Minor Injuries Unit and New Mills Walk-in Centres’.
Robert Largan, Conservative candidate for High Peak, has hit out at the pettion started by Labour candidate Ruth George.
Mr Largan said: “Ms George is misleading and unnecessarily worrying voters by making false claims about vital NHS services in Buxton and New Mills being under threat of closure, when the truth is the complete opposite as they are not under any threat of closure what-so-ever.
“This new low from Labour is a desperate attempt to scare voters in the lead up to polling day. Having spoken to Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust they confirmed these facilities are not closing and went as far as insisting Ms George refrain from making the claims by removing references to any closures from her website.”
Ms George told the Buxton Advertiser: “Local people are always telling me how much they value both New Mills walk-in centre and the Minor Injuries Unit. As a local resident I’ve used both for my family so I know how valuable they are. I want to do all I can to ensure they are protected and the vast majority of local people agree.
”We’ve seen too many of our health services stripped away from High Peak since 2010, including Corbar birthing centre, Spencer Ward and more than half of beds on Fenton Ward at the Cavendish, the clinic on Fairfield, services at Chapel Health Centre, drop-in baby weighing, breastfeeding support and reduced hours at the MIU.
“It’s no wonder people don’t trust the Conservatives with our local NHS services and will be using this election to make sure that Derbyshire NHS gets the funding we need.
“Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group is facing further huge cuts of £69.5m this year and a further £200m over the next three years.”
Conservative Health Secretary Matt Hancock also weighed in, saying: “I am astonished that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour candidate in High Peak is spreading these baseless claims.
“It is blatantly obvious this is because she is running scared of losing her seat on 12 December and trying to distract attention from Labour’s tax rises, Brexit confusion, and their shameful plans for a four day week which would cripple our NHS, and leave it with less funding.
“The truth about our fantastic NHS in High Peak, New Mills and Buxton is that far from closing services, we now have almost a hundred more doctors and almost a hundred more nurses at Chesterfield Royal Hospital than in 2010. By May 2017 94 per cent of General Practices in the North Derbyshire CCG area rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.
“Added to this, NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG will this year receive a total of £1,452.7 million cash injection for the NHS to ensure frontline services have the funding they need, amounting to an increase of 5.43 per cent on last year.”
Ms George added: “They have told me that all services will have to be reviewed for cost effectiveness and that walk-in centres such as New Mills don’t deliver the best value for money. They have also cut the opening hours of the Minor Injuries Unit and refused to guarantee the walk-in facility at the new health hub in Buxton.
”Current plans for the new Buxton health hub show the Minor Injuries Unit space as being very small - possibly just a single room.
“This is nowhere near the service we currently have at the former Cottage Hospital.”
A full list of candidate standing in the High Peak and their policies, is available here