A local church leader is the star of a new film about the future of community health services in Heanor.
Pastor David Howe, from Heanor Baptist Church, is featured quizzing leading figures from NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) about Heanor Memorial Hospital, which has been closed since last September after asbestos was discovered in parts of the building.
The five-minute video, which is available to view on the home page of www.southernderbyshireccg.nhs.uk, urges people to have their say on what happens to the hospital and the land it occupies.
The film shows Pastor David asking CCG chair Dr Sheila Newport and chief officer Andy Layzell if a decision had already been made to close the hospital for good, if the discovery of asbestos had provided an excuse to close it, and whether timescales had been agreed for the site’s future.
The interviewees answered that no decision had been made to close the hospital permanently and that the CCG was committed to enhancing and developing health services in Heanor. They said that asbestos was just one of several factors making the old hospital buildings unfit for modern health care. For example, there were problems with fire safety, disabled access and electrical wiring.
They added that plans for future health care in the town should be finalised by the end of the year, after which it would take around two years to rebuild or replace the hospital.
The video invites people to attend a public meeting on Thursday 29 May when the CCG, which plans and buys healthcare for 525,000 people, would share its thoughts about options and invite views. A venue for the meeting has yet to be agreed.
Andy Layzell said: “We are very conscious that the hospital was paid for by local people after the First World War and there is a strong local commitment to it. It’s therefore vital that local people feel able to have a say in what happens to health services in Heanor, particularly on this site.”
The film also shows Pastor David, chatting with project manager Steve Ward, from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, who reveals the extent of asbestos in the boiler house and under the floorboards.
Speaking after the filming, Pastor David added: “I’ve lived in the area for nearly 19 years, and I know how important the hospital is for local people, many of whom I see regularly. I hope the video will encourage people to get involved in the consultation.”
He said he considered it important to help shape local healthcare and that he often shared his views with the CCG’s Health Panel and with the Patient Participation Group of Park Surgery, where he is a patient.
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 www.choosewellsouthernderbyshire.co.uk
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111