Residents want to see a maternity unit return to Heanor as plans for a £2.5 million health facility to replace the town’s hospital were scrutinised.
Heanor last had a maternity unit 30 years ago, then services were switched to the old Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.
But this week health bosses have said there would not be enough demand for the unit.
More than 60 people attended two consultation events held on Wednesday, September 10, in Langley Mill and Heanor.
Health bosses said at the meetings residents had raised the issue of having a maternity unit back in the town.
They were looking at plans for the new £2.5m unit which would replace Heanor Memorial Hospital, on Ilkeston Road, which closed in November after large amounts of asbestos were found.
Residents attending the Heanor meeting at St Lawrence’s Church were also keen to see the old ‘Heanor Memorial’ name retained.
Resident Kevin Clifford, 58, of Allendale Road, Heanor, said the town would benefit from a maternity unit.
He said: “People will always have children so it seems logical.”
Healthcare bosses from NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which is responsble for health services in the town, said research showed there was not enough demand for a maternity unit. Director of corporate development Helen Dillistone, said: “We have given it a lot of thought, but the figures don’t match the need. Heanor has a population of only 22,000 and it would not be viable to staff a birthing unit for the amount of births in the town per year.”
Resident Tessa Roberts, 61, of Saxton Avenue, Heanor, wanted the memorial status to continue at the new site. The CCG said it would work hard to ensure there would be strong links to the hospital’s history.