Have your say on hospital scheme

Mike Sparks a former asbestos inspector outside Heanor hospital.
Mike Sparks a former asbestos inspector outside Heanor hospital.

Residents will be given 90 days to have their say on plans to bulldoze Heanor Memorial Hospital and replace it with a new £2.5 million health unit.

Following a public meeting held in May, health bosses have now produced a formal report outlining proposals to replace the current Ilkeston Road hospital building, which closed in September after large amounts of asbestos were found there.

The report went to NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for the hospital, for approval on Friday, June 27. Once approved, the formal consultation period is set to start in mid-July.

Local people will then be given three months to state their views on the plans. The CCG will be organising public meetings and events around Heanor 
during this period to get public 
opinions on the proposals put forward. When the consultation has closed, the CCG will take the feedback and a third public meeting will be held in 
September, before a final 
decision is reached by the end of 2014.

Labour leader of Amber Valley Borough Council, Councillor Paul Jones said certain issuest may be raised in the 90-day period.

He said: “There is anxiety from residents about the issue over beds.

“We need to be confident the CCG make a commitment to producing a health facility that has a significant presence in the community that meets the demands of a growing population.”

At the last public meeting at St Lawrence’s Church, Heanor, health bosses said the new unit would offer outpatient services, including for dementia sufferers and would be open within two years.

There would be no inpatient beds unlike the current hospital.

Health bosses said instead the unit would have close ties with a nearby care home where beds would be offered and there specially trained staff would treat these patients in a scheme which was piloted in Derby last year.

Officials from CCG said the hospital would be too expensive to save and needed to be bulldozed.

The new building would 
offer services for older patients, mental health patients and all current clinics, including blood services, would be housed on the site.

Andy Layzell, chief officer of the CCG told the meeting demolishing the hospital would be the most effective way to resolve the problem.

He said: “The long term solution is to demolish the site rather than patch over the cracks. In addition to the asbestos, the disabled access and electrical facilities were not up to standard. We need to rebuild a functioning site and then bring health services back to Heanor.”

When Heanor hospital closed in September patients were transferred to Ilkeston Community Hospital, where ten beds would remain, said Mr Layzell.

He said: “When we started in January we hadn’t answered the question of whether the hospital would close, and now we are 
confirming plans to 
demolish and rebuild. Residents are supporting a positive change.”

n What’s your view? Email us at newsrhnews.co.uk.