Heanor patients will soon be able to have blood tests in their home town.
A blood clinic will be available in the Old Fire Station, Wilmot Street, just off the Market Place, from Thursday 3 April. It will be open Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 12.30pm.
The arrangement has been made following talks between Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which provides the service; and NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which plans and buys healthcare for the area’s 525,000 people.
The town’s phlebotomy clinic was switched temporarily to Ilkeston following last September’s discovery of asbestos in parts of Heanor Memorial Hospital, where blood was previously taken.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“Local GPs very much wanted to have blood taking services available in Heanor for the people of Heanor. Unfortunately, none of the GP practices had enough space or the right facilities to have this in their surgeries. However, we now have permission to use the old Heanor fire station until we can find a longer term solution.
“We’re also looking at how we can bring some of the outpatient clinics back to the hospital grounds, making use of the physiotherapy department at the back of the site.
“The return of the blood clinic and potential return of some outpatient clinics underlines our commitment to honouring the pledges we made at a packed public meeting in January when the future of community health services in Heanor was discussed.
“We promised that health services would be provided locally in Heanor and that, if we had to demolish the hospital, we’d put another NHS building in its place. We also vowed to be honest about what’s happening and to hold another public meeting in three months to report on progress.
“That meeting will take place on Thursday 29 May when we join partners from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, to share our thoughts on how services may develop in the future.”
The asbestos was detected during preliminary work to upgrade the hospital’s heating system, electrical wiring, fire alarms and telecommunications – all of which needed major improvements as part of a plan to bring the building up to 21st Century standards.
Andy Layzell, chief officer of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, added:
“Between now and the meeting on 29 May we will be meeting local people and local groups, gathering information and talking to them about what options we should be pulling together. We will be holding a formal three-month consultation period within the next six months to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have their say and contribute to the final plan.
“What we do know is that our population is getting older, and there is less need for patients to be treated in hospital than there was even 10 years ago with patients increasingly able to be treated at home. Meanwhile, NHS finances are tighter than they’ve ever been.
“So it’s really important that, working with local people, we get our decisions right for the future of health services in Heanor and make sure we don’t waste money on a solution that will no longer be meeting patient needs in the future.
“We are very conscious that this site was donated to the health service after the First World War so it is very dear to local people. But if we demolish the hospital – which is no longer fit for purpose - there will be another NHS building put in its place on the site. Chair: Dr Sheila Newport Chief Officer: Andy Layzell
“Once we have an agreed plan – which we should have by the end of the year – we estimate it would take a minimum of two years to complete a building, depending on what that looked like and what other issues we may encounter along the way.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people. It is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire.
For advice on finding the right health service at the right time in Southern Derbyshire, visit choosewellsouthernderbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111