NHS recommends closure of Derbyshire birth centres

The closure of two birthing units is being recommended by the NHS in Derbyshire.

Health bosses said the Darley Birth Centre, near Matlock, and the Corbar Birth Centre, in Buxton, were not being used enough.

The closures would save £2m to £4m over five years, an NHS review estimated.

But campaigners backing the centres said the facilities provided an excellent and invaluable service to the local communities.

A decision on the future of the units will be made on Wednesday.

If the NHS report recommendations are supported, then the Corbar and Darley midwifery-led birthing centres would close from July 2012.

Mark Todd, chair of NHS Derbyshire County, said: "It's about how you use the scarce resources the NHS has.

"In the last 12 months only 100 people have used Darley Birthing Centre and the guidance that we have is that around 300 makes it sustainable."

But Jess Blair, who gave birth to her daughter at the birthing centre nine months ago and is supporting the campaign to keep it open, said that if it was advertised better then more people would use it.

"If we've already got a facility up and running and it is successful, why close it?"

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