SAVE KINGFISHER AND SCBU: Campaigners get backing from MP
5:30am Tuesday 30th June 2015
Courtesy of the Dorset Echo
CAMPAIGNERS fighting for children’s services at Dorset County Hospital will meet bosses from the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) today.
The mums hoping to keep services at the Kingfisher Ward and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) in Dorchester will head into the meeting buoyed by support from their local MP.
The campaigners, who organised a march earlier this month that attracted more than 1,000 people, met with Oliver Letwin at the weekend.
The politician offered words of support for their efforts and said he will press for the services provided by Kingfisher to be retained at Dorset County Hospital.
Mr Letwin said: “I was delighted to meet the campaigners.
“Like them, I am quite clear that we need to keep full-service in-patient paediatric provision at Dorset County Hospital.
“I am glad that, as a result of their campaign and the representations that Richard Drax and I have made to the CCG, this will now be one of the options presented to NHS England.
“I shall soon be seeing NHS England to argue the case for the county hospital to retain these services, and I shall continue to work in parallel with the campaigners.”
The proposals put forward by the CCG as part of its clinical services review have yet to be approved in principle by NHS England, something that must be done before they go out to public consultation.
Naomi Patterson, who was one of the campaigners to meet with Mr Letwin, said: “Mr Letwin is clearly concerned about plans to move some care at the wards to Bournemouth and Poole and recognises that in rural Dorset that this will create difficulties and we had a very productive meeting.
“We now need to take our proposals to the CCG.”
Bridport councillor Ros Kayes, who is helping protestors plan their overall campaign, added: “What we are looking for from the CCG is an admission that they have underestimated the level of public concern about the proposals.
“Sometimes that’s easy to do – but we hope they will now remove the idea of reducing Kingfisher to a day treatment centre, cutting maternity ward hours and moving the Special care Baby Unit completely from the proposals going to consultation in August, because it is clear so early on that they are already tremendously unpopular.”