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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2017

Chatsworth ward campaign replies to Tory MP's intervention

We are all Chatsworth campaign
Marching to save Chatsworth ward, 2.9.17, photo Elaine Evans

Marching to save Chatsworth ward, 2.9.17, photo Elaine Evans   (Click to enlarge)

Mansfield was one of the few places the Tories gained from Labour in the general election. The new MP, Ben Bradley, had an article in the local paper recently about Chatsworth ward. The campaign sent in a reply:

We read that Ben Bradley has twice visited the clinical commissioning group (CCG) and discussed Chatsworth Ward in Mansfield Community Hospital. He repeats their points of view, but what about the patients, their families and the staff? Aren't our views worth listening to?

It is astonishing no local MPs have visited Chatsworth Ward since its closure was announced ten weeks ago.

Mr Bradley says Chatsworth "can't carry on as it is because it doesn't have the specialist consultant it needs to manage it."

Has he asked the CCG and Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust why the excellent consultant we had was only offered a six-month contract - and understandably then moved elsewhere? Why hasn't the trust advertised for another consultant? It's clear this is a manufactured excuse to try and close Chatsworth.

Mr Bradley writes that there is now a review "to establish what we need, as well as what the trust can safely provide."

While welcome that a review is taking place, why wasn't this done before the closure was announced? The question should not be "what the trust can safely provide" but 'what do local people need for their care?'

It cannot be safe for Chatsworth's patients, families and friends to travel many miles to another unit. It certainly isn't safe to have a long waiting list. The tragic death of a local disabled man in a house fire three weeks ago shows the dangers disabled people can face.

Is Mr Bradley asking questions of his government? Is it safe that NHS funding has been squeezed for years? Why can't the local district hospital fill its nursing vacancies? Why is the NHS facing yet more reorganisation benefiting profit-making companies wanting NHS contracts?

We suggest he comes to Chatsworth ward and finds out why thousands of his constituents have signed petitions to save it.

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