An Amber Valley borough councillor has voiced concerns over ‘secret’ plans for £240m worth of cuts to the NHS in Derbyshire.
Councillor Maurice Neville, for Belper Central, says Derbyshire’s Sustainability Transformation Plan (STP) - the result of a collaboration between health and social care leaders in the county - is part of a larger countrywide scheme to plug a £22bn NHS funding gap.
Coun Neville said he had become aware of the plans early in 2016 and that leaked STPs - such as that of Cheshire and Mersyside’s which revealed a £1bn funding gap - showed their main purpose was to plug huge funding gaps.
He said: “At a public meeting in Belper last Friday we heard from the chair of Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and from the Derbyshire Community Health Trust that at least £240m in Derbyshire NHS costs will be cut by 2021.
“We already know that £140m will also be missing from council-funded social care, which puts more strain on the NHS.
“But we are already fighting community hospital cuts in Belper and all over Derbyshire.”
Gary Thompson, senior responsible officer for the Derbyshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan, said: “Sustainability and transformation plans are still at a draft stage with information from health and care systems being analysed to identify any gaps or duplication in services, and highlight areas where consistency and quality could potentially improve.
“We have explained that we will talk to the public regularly to involve them in shaping options for the future of local services once this background analysis is complete and published.
“We want local communities to be involved in helping meet the challenges of a growing elderly population with complex health needs, and a greater increase in demands and costs for existing services.
“STP representatives attended public meetings hosted by local interest groups in November last year and this month, to provide updates and to reiterate that Babington Hospital will not close without a replacement facility being in place to relocate services to in the town.”