Fears health care boundary changes could threaten future of Bassetlaw Hospital

Fears have been raised about proposed changes to health care boundaries in Bassetlaw.

By Sam Jackson
Friday, 21st May 2021, 8:00 am
Bassetlaw Hospital, Worksop
Bassetlaw Hospital, Worksop

Bassetlaw is currently part of the South Yorkshire Integrated Care System which means the majority of residents often have treatment at hospitals in Sheffield and Doncaster.

But the Government want all ICS’s not to cross council boundaries and under the plans Bassetlaw will move into the Nottinghamshire ICS.

Some health officials and politicians believe this would mean patients will have to travel elsewhere in Notts and funding for services diverted from Bassetlaw and potentially putting the future of Bassetlaw Hospital at risk.

But Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said stressed that the hospital will not be closing and that there ‘shouldn’t be any changes to the services used locally’.

He said: “I’ve been contacted by a number of elderly and vulnerable constituents who were concerned about the rumours of the closure of Bassetlaw Hospital and being told they would have to commute to Nottingham.

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“I want to make it 100 per cent clear to them – this is entirely untrue and Bassetlaw Hospital will not only remain open, but will in fact receive further investment.”

Mr Clarke-Smith said: “There shouldn’t be any changes at all to services we use locally, for example the hospitals in Doncaster and Sheffield. Our geography doesn’t allow for anything else.”

Deputy leader of Bassetlaw Council, Councillor Jo White, questioned why the changes are being made as the country emerges from the Covid pandmic.

“We have well-trodden health care pathways into South Yorkshire with services provided at Bassetlaw Hospital to meet local demographic needs and to maintain its key role in supporting our community,” she said.

“There is a connectivity and synergy between our hospitals and health provision which have been strongly defined within the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS. We also have outstanding health provision which is reflected across the providers within South Yorkshire.

“Turning Bassetlaw to face Nottingham puts all of this at risk.”

She added: “It’s foreseeable that over time provision at Bassetlaw Hospital will reduce until it becomes little more than a cottage hospital.

“The additional services such as the breast care unit, which attract additional funding from the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS will be one of the first causalities.”

Head of Worksop’s Larwood Practice, Dr Steve Kell, said the three local primary care networks agree health services should remain firmly in South Yorkshire.

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis has written to local council leaders to highlight his concerns and said ‘patients must come before bureaucracy.”

A department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The White Paper sets out the next steps in the process of building a health and care system which is less bureaucratic, more accountable, and more integrated.

“It reflects what the NHS itself asks for, with a clear focus on delivering higher quality care to local communities, meeting the health challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic, and making it easier for local health and care services to prioritise prevention.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Sam Jackson, editor.