NHS cuts are background to hospital decisions

27th July 2017

I attended the meeting at County Hall in Matlock, together with campaigners from High Peak and across North Derbyshire, to see the decision of the Clinical Commissioning Board on the future of Spencer and Fenton wards at the Cavendish Hospital in Buxton.

The decision was disappointing – especially as it does not seem to have taken into account the excellent record of both Buxton wards in supporting patients to return home.

But cost has had to be a factor, and North Derbyshire CCG are being forced to make £27.3m savings this year – over 6% of their entire budget.  These cuts form the background to the tough decisions.

I agree we need more support for carers at home.  I hope that the proposed Dementia Rapid Response Teams do help to reduce the need for dementia beds in High Peak, but the Board’s proposal that those who still need hospital care will have to use Walton Hospital in Chesterfield is unacceptable.

It is not viable to ensure patients can be rehabilitated to return back home if that happens as short-term visits and a gradual return are not logistically possible due to the travel distances so I will continue to oppose this part of the proposal.

The Chief Officer of the Board has agreed to visit the wards with me to see for himself the outstanding level of care provided.

I have applied for a Parliamentary debate when Parliament returns and will see if there is any scope for this decision to be reviewed.

I am pleased the Board has committed to run their proposed system and the existing wards side by side to ensure that the proposals work before any beds are cut.  I will seek to ensure the effectiveness of both systems is closely monitored.

Monday’s decision will be implemented over the course of 4 years, so there is a long way to go, and I will carry on the fight to make sure the beds our patients need are provided here in High Peak.

On Saturday I held advice surgeries in Glossop, New Mills and Buxton.  Most people who need assistance are suffering from cuts to our public services or welfare system.  Both types of cuts fall hardest on people with a disability or special needs.

I will help wherever I can, and a schedule of my future surgeries is on my website www.ruthforhighpeak.co.uk

I was also delighted to help open the fantastic new changing rooms and clubhouse at Tintwistle Athletic FC.  The lovely building and improved pitches are a tribute to the hard work of the committee members and volunteers and I hope will be enjoyed by players and supporters for many years to come.

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