Sunday, September 24, 2023

What Future For Babington? And Who Really Owns It?

Babington Hospital was originially a workhouse, built, by the Board of Guardians, with the genuine intention of helping the poor and sick of the area. When workhouses were rebranded as “Public Assistance Institutions” in 1930, control passed from the Board of Guardians to the Derbyshire County Council. It truly became a hospital by sheer necessity during WW2 when it participated in the Emergency Medical Services Scheme, and with the creation of the NHS following soon after the war, in 1948, it stayed a hospital. Belper’s hospital, built for and owned by the town. In 2013 the government transferred ownership of Babington from the council to NHS Property Services, and now NHS Property Services can sell it. The NHS doesn’t get any money from that sale. Belper doesn’t get any money from that sale. It goes straight to the Treasury.

Questions are now being asked about who owns Babington. Does it really belong to NHS Property Services, who claim ownership and charge rent, resulting in one part of the NHS charging another part to use buildings which it claims to own, thereby wasting taxpayer money. Or did the government appropriate it by stealth tactics, relying on council compliance and sloppy legal work?

And who gets a say in what happens next? Who should get to decide its future?

There is a public meeting at 8pm to discuss such questions next Monday, 8th October 2018 at Strutts Community Centre.

This is not an NHS public consultation, but is a local interest meeting to decide what the town wants.

Advertised text:

Babington Hospital is scheduled to close with the loss of 18 nursed beds. Bolsover Hospital was closed with just three days’ notice and the same fate may await Babington.
We have already lost the mental health facility. Blood tests are being postponed owing to lack of staff. Physio patients are being referred to Ilkeston Hospital – itself under threat of bed losses .
Many have had problems getting to appointments and visiting relatives at other hospitals. Many of us have already been advised to go for private treatment.
A rebuild is promised on Derwent Street but with no nursed beds and a loss of 160 parking spaces.
Since its transfer to NHS Property in 2013 – without consultation – the Clinical Commissioning Group has failed to consult with the public.
What stage is the planning permission at and what services will it offer ? We have not been told.
We as taxpayers have to pay annual rent to NHS Property. As the landlord, surely NHS property should be responsible for its upkeep?
Apart from scaremongering about the state of the building, we have been given no information about the cost of refurbishment. No evidence has been given that the most economical quote has been sought.
What is our vision of a community hospital fit for the 21st century?
To share your stories and air your views please email

Let’s act now before it’s too late.

Clare Washbrook

Current Editor-in-Chief News and magazine editor since 1995 Post-grads: Literature; Theatre; Journalism, Ethics & Law Community Affiliations: Belper Goes Green, Belper's WW1 Poppies, Amber Valley Solidarity No political party memberships/affiliations.

2 thoughts on “What Future For Babington? And Who Really Owns It?

  • Kim Kerry

    It’s not often mentioned how important the maternity provision was . It far superceded the care given in Derby.

  • Kendal Greaves

    Claire Haynes, of SDCCG who lead the Engagement Process on the Closure of Babington, stated at a PPG meeting a few months ago that it was never about the quality of the team that work there but it “was always about the saleability of the building”. It’s a disgrace that £6m should be spent on a new building only so Babington can be sold to developers (I’m assuming that’s what they will do).

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