Back to Derbyshire now, specifically the small former mining town of Heanor on the Notts/Derbys border.
Dr Jim Noble, Chair of the Medical Staff Committee at Heanor Memorial Hospital (HMH) has raised concerns that the NHS may be planning to demolish the hospital to make way for a development for elderly people.
The HMH is a small hospital, with 24 beds, around a dozen doctors and fifty nurses. It provides treatment for people who do not require the specialist staff and equipment found at a larger hospital and also provides a variety of non-specialist services to the local community, such as blood tests.
Derbyshire Community Health Services / NHS Derbyshire County have responded that talks are in their "very early stages" and that there were no "current" plans to demolish the hopspital.
Dr Noble is concerned about the future of staff currently located at the hopsital and about the effect on local services. He has indicated that if the plans to demolish the hospital were given the go-ahead "Then we will go to the public for their support. It`s Heanor`s hospital for Heanor people."
Situated in Amber Valley on the edge of `D H Lawrence country`, Heanor is noted for the attractive surrounding countryside and for Shipley Country Park. Despite the presence of a number of small engineering and manufacturing companies in a local industrial estate, the town is generally held to be in need of regeneration. The loss of a local hospital would be likely to prove controversial.
The local MP is Nigel Mills (Conservative), who won the seat from Labour`s Judy Mallaber at the last election. Ms Mallaber, a former trade union official, was reknowned as a fighter for local industry and has probably left Mr Mills with a `tough act to follow`. However, he does have deep local roots, living on the edge of nearby Langley Mill and acting as treasurer for a social club in the deprived Ironville area.
For the full story ;
Kate Liptrot - Doctor Pledges Fight if Hospital Faces Closure, 3 September 2010 at http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/ .
Other stories on this blog concerning Derbyshire are ;
Greensqueeze : New Stanton ( 26 July 2010 )
Waingrove`s Woodland Worries ( 29 July 2010 )
Burning Passions 2 ( 7 September 2010 ).