Calls to keep Corbar Birth Centre in Buxton open

Calls have been made to protect a Buxton birthing unit from possible closure.

Health bosses estimate the Corbar Birth Centre in Buxton, along with the Darley Dale Birth Centre, would cost about £3m to run over the next five years.

Plans for a public consultation over the centres are being considered by the NHS in Derbyshire on Wednesday.

The National Childbirth Trust in High Peak said the service, led by midwives, was a "vital unit" for the region.

Action day

Fiona Lichfield, from the trust, said: "They're talking about providing services for patients that are equally accessible across the county.

"But Derbyshire's a big county and that's why you do things locally.

"In the High Peak we're geographically distant from the feeder hospitals - and if there's snow on the ground, it's a nightmare."

A protest is due to be held at a meeting of NHS Derbyshire County on Wednesday in Scarsdale.

Ms Lichfield said there were also plans for a petition and an action day in June, and a group had been formed on Facebook to try to save the unit.

David Sharp, chief executive of the NHS Derby City and NHS Derbyshire County cluster, said: "It is our duty to ensure that services provide the best value for money and are equally accessible to patients across the county.

"We have therefore already started a review of some of the maternity services available to local women, both at the birth centres, in the community and at local hospitals.

"Extensive research has been undertaken and there is no evidence to show that giving birth in a birth centre is safer than a home birth, nor more clinically effective.

"There is also no evidence to say that births at a stand-alone birth centre have better outcomes than the birth centres in the major hospitals."

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