Guest column: Protest sent clear message to hospital bosses

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

Thank you to everyone who went to the protest outside the CCG board meeting this week.

They were campaigning against the closure of the children’s ward at Bassetlaw Hospital to overnight admissions. The arguments are clear: this is a campaign about the safety and the future of the hospital.

The decision to close the children’s ward at night time and at weekends means that there is no longer a paediatrician at the hospital during those periods of time.

This is very dangerous because if a sick child is brought into A&E the staff have to make a decision over where to send the child.

A sick child who needs admitting will now be sent to Doncaster, a dangerously sick child will go to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

My concern is that when every minute is critical, there is now no-one with that very specialised skill set available during those periods to make those critical decisions and this is when lives could be put in danger.

No paediatrician at night time and at weekends also puts maternity services at risk in my view.

Would you be willing to have a baby in a hospital where there isn’t a paediatrician on duty?

There was a local campaign to protect our maternity services a few years ago. This will be repeated if necessary.

But I’d rather work now to protect what we have.

The strength of the campaign has gained national media coverage with the Daily Mirror when it exposed that the hospital is spending £14,000 per month moving children from Bassetlaw to Doncaster, with one team of paediatric paramedics being drafted in from Essex.

This is an absolutely farcical situation in my view.

There will also be a march in support of the campaign on Saturday, February 25.

The march will begin at 10am at the hospital and end with a rally outside Worksop Town Hall.

Meet on the Kilton Forest car park at the top of Blyth Road

The march will proceed past the hospital down Blyth Road, through the town centre and finish in Market Square outside the town hall with a rally beginning at 11am.

Please do come and bring your friends and family. Contact me on mannj@parliament.uk or call 01909 506200 for posters, petitions or any other information.

There are a number of benefits of planting trees in an area and the UK needs more .

We are now one of the least ‘wooded’ countries in Europe.

The Woodland Trust is offering free community tree packs for planting on publicly accessible land or at a school.

If you are interested in getting involved please go to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/in-your-community/ for more information.

n John Mann’s next surgeries are on March 11 in Worksop and Misterton and March 12 in Retford and Harworth.