Babington Hospital closure: NHS reviewing results of public engagement

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Health leaders are now reviewing the feedback on plans to move health services from Babington Hospital to a new, facility in Belper town centre.

NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has completed the initial public engagement phase of the project.

All feedback will be considered by the CCG and shared with the patient representative organisation Healthwatch Derbyshire for independent analysis. A report will go to the CCG’s governing body for a decision on next steps in June.

CCG chairman Dr Paul Wood said: “We worked in partnership with staff from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust (DCHSFT) to talk to as many people as we could, to take on board all views, both for and against.

“Wherever possible we will incorporate ideas in the creation of the new facility. We’re keen to maximise health and care resources so patients get the best support, now and in years to come.”

Over the past few months, NHS managers have been making the case for their plans by talking to people in the streets and community groups, and delivering information to thousands of households, libraries, GP surgeries and other public venues.

Views were recorded face-to-face and more than 170 people responded to a written survey - although a petition questioning the move has been signed by many more.

The CCG says the move is necessary due to increasing maintenance needs and limitations of Babington’s building, and changes in the pattern of demand for health services.

DCHSFT , which is commissioned to deliver those services, has already purchased land from Derbyshire County Council to build a new facility in Derwent Street, which could be sold back if a decision is made to not move services to the site.

While the new building could accommodate Babington services such as community therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, falls prevention and intermediate care, it would not offer the same nursing care beds and that has caused concern for many residents.

Dr Wood said: “People are living longer—which is great news for everyone in the NHS—but it creates different patient needs, particularly in terms of support for long-term conditions, and we must take these into account so the right care is available.

“We wanted to be sure that the superb patient care currently offered by professionals can carry on being offered – but from a suitable building for modern health care, or out in the community, in people’s own homes when it is best and appropriate for them.”

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