NHS campaigners stage Matlock protest against cuts and service changes

Derbyshire Save Our NHS are seeking to defend hospital services at Newholme, Bolsover, Babington, Wards at Chesterfield and Royal Derby, as well as challenging other planned changes for healthcare delivery.
Derbyshire Save Our NHS are seeking to defend hospital services at Newholme, Bolsover, Babington, Wards at Chesterfield and Royal Derby, as well as challenging other planned changes for healthcare delivery.

Campaigners took to the roads of Derbyshire last weekend to highlight NHS changes which they say threaten vital services.

Groups from all over the county arrived in Matlock on Saturday, November 18, as part of a motorcade on its way to a rally at County Hall.

Spokesman Keith Venables said: “Nationally, £22 billion has been taken out of the budget in the last seven years and now Derbyshire healthcare is threatened.

“A new senior manager, Dr Chris Clayton, has been asked to oversee major cutbacks across the county, equivalent to 535 notional beds. Patients, relatives and staff will suffer.”

He added: “Funding for GP surgeries is being reduced, waiting times are increasing and several hospital wards are all threatened with the chop.

“We are a group of patients, staff and members of the community standing up to say these cutbacks are not fair and not necessary.”

The campaign is also challenging policies which shift more care services to patients’ homes and community settings, rather than hospitals, and the possibility of privatisation.

Dr Paul Wood, chair of Derbyshire’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan, said: “We are aware of the campaign and we will continue to gather people’s views on the future of health and social care to ensure we deliver the best we can for the people of Derbyshire.

“Change needs to happen. If services stay as they are people will receive care which don’t match their health needs or provide help in the best way.”