‘SAVE BABINGTON HOSPITAL’ read the placards. Protests stopped the traffic and cars tooted their horns in support.
Many people believe a community hospital gives better care and are working on a new vision for Babington Hospital. The Labour Borough Councillor for Central Belper said that Babington Hospital needs to be seen in the context of the whole heritage of the town and there should be a concern for its upkeep. He says Babington Hospital is part of our historical cultural heritage and should be kept as a centre of excellence.
A concerned woman said there is a need for sheltered housing, care homes, Citizens’ Advice and a ward for those who need it. She said Babington Hospital should be invested in and a costing made for the removal of asbestos from the building.
One campaigner said that the number of home helps in Derbyshire has been reduced from 3000 to 700.
Others said private sector carers are on zero hours contracts and only paid for 15 minute visits which is not an adequate amount of time for them to do the work they need to do, and this doesn’t take into account the travel time between visits (which they are not paid for). Home helps who need to use hoists to assist in giving personal care cannot do what they need to in quarter of an hour.
This is in stark contrast to the Clinical Commissioning Groups claim that the service provided by nursed beds can be satisfactorily met by ‘care closer to home’.
Have the public been fully consulted on the decisions which will affect healthcare provision in Derbyshire?
NHS staff say that the Derwent Street site is not big enough and still doesn’t have full planning permission. Someone said that the Derbyshire Scrutiny Board might refer the proposal to close Babington Hospital to the Secretary of State.
In Chesterfield there is a plan for NHS staff to be moved into private companies, but this has met with strong opposition and these plans are currently on hold.
People from the Belper Campaign to Save Our NHS have put forward a vision for a community hospital with:
“Nursed beds for rehab, respite and palliative care, Blood tests, Podiatry, Mother & Baby Clinic, Minor injuries unit, Mental Health Care, Day care & physio, Sight and hearing support, Ambulatory day care, Bereavement counselling, Preventative care, Hub for voluntary services, Hub for community transport, Adequate access and parking.”
There are 300 campaigns across the country about cuts to NHS services and hospital closures and some of them are winning! With the Royal Derby currently on ‘black alert’ even before the most severe weather has struck, our NHS is once again in crisis.
If you can make it, please come to the public meeting at Friends Meeting House in Derby at 7.00pm on January 9th to discuss how we can save our services.
By Jo Kirk