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Newark Hospital health services being reviewed and councillor hopes it could mean return of Accident and Emergency

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Health services at Newark Hospital are being reviewed.

County councillor and campaigner Debbie Darby hopes the review could mean the return of Accident and Emergency services at the hospital.

It comes 11 years after the controversial decision to axe A&E services at Newark Hospital, which downgraded services to that of an urgent care centre.

Councillor Debbie Darby has been campaigning for the return of A&E services at Newark Hospital.
Councillor Debbie Darby has been campaigning for the return of A&E services at Newark Hospital.

Mrs Darby, county councillor for Collingham, described the 2011 decision as a verdict townspeople have never forgiven.

Mrs Darby says she has persuaded the chief commissioning officer Lucy Dadge at Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to look again at the decision — and has asked specifically that a feasibility study be carried out.

Mrs Darby says Newark is one of the biggest towns in the UK without access to a full-time A&E.

Councillor Debbie Darby.
Councillor Debbie Darby.

“Ask anybody in Coddington, Collingham, Newark and the surrounding villages what their number one healthcare concern is — they’ll tell you it’s the fact we don’t have a 24-hour A&E,” she said.

“People bitterly complain, for many a routine trip to A&E is a two-hour round trip.

“I welcome the fact that health bosses are willing to look again at this. How can it be right that a town the size of Newark doesn’t have access to a full-time A&E or maternity services for that matter?

“Newark and its environs are set to grow by around 9,000 houses due to the council’s local house-building plans over the next few years. We can’t sit back and wait for Newark to grow exponentially without putting the right health infrastructure in place.

“In February, when I won the by-election, people told me to make their voices heard at the highest levels. That’s exactly what I am doing.”

Mrs Darby recently met with Paul Robinson, the chief executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust — which runs Newark, King’s Mill and Mansfield hospitals — and is meeting with Lucy Dadge from the CCG on June 27.

Vice-chairman of the county council’s adult social care and public health committee David Martin said: “At our meeting with Paul Robinson, Debbie said what everyone across the town of Newark has been saying for well over a decade — why can it be right that people across Newark have poorer access to health services than others? I will join her when she meets CCG bosses at the end of June and I back the campaign all the way.”

A spokesman for NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG said: “We are always keen to hear from our representatives on behalf of their constituents and look forward to working constructively with councillor Darby to ensure appropriate services are provided in a safe way for residents. We are in the process of reviewing our data surrounding the use of Newark Hospital to inform these discussions.”

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