Health chiefs seek views over Belper-based hospital

Babington Hospital, Belper.
Babington Hospital, Belper.

Health bosses are preparing to seek the public’s views over a proposed plan that could lead to the closure of Belper’s Babington Hospital.

NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group is considering the future of the hospital which has been described as difficult to convert to meet modern needs due to its size and age.

And the CCG confirmed this week that it has been reviewing health services in the area and gathering data with a view to seeking views from the public by next month.

A CCG spokesman said: “We have been reviewing health services and in the meantime we have been doing data collections and we are at the point where we will soon be able to have a chat with the public in November.

“We will be seeking views and getting public meetings organised and as we start to communicate with people their views will be central to future decisions.”

The CCG has stated that whatever decisions are made all its services will be provided by clinical staff elsewhere so job cuts would be unlikely.

It has also been considering factors such as a growing population with patients living longer and the desire of patients wishing to be supported in their own homes.

Some have been concerned that any changes will result in a reduced level of resources and facilities.

Keith Venables, of Belper’s Keep our NHS Public campaign, has argued that despite a desire for people to be cared for at home people would not want anything less than the best resources.

He is concerned that there will always be a need for a hospital bed and there needs to be a hospital facility to deal with that eventuality.

Mr Venables fears Government funding cuts for the NHS cannot be appeased with a reorganisation of services.

A review by the CCG concerning the hospital, on Derby Road, is expected to be published by early next year.