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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 20:56 GMT
Fears over maternity unit closure
Darley Dale maternity unit at Whitworth Hospital
The Darley Dale unit is part of a review of maternity services
A group of mothers have formed a campaign group to fight to keep a Derbyshire maternity unit open.

They fear the Darley Dale unit at Whitworth Hospital near Matlock will be shut as part of a review of services.

The unit, which handled 120 births a year, closed temporarily in September 2006 over safety fears.

Health bosses have admitted the unit was part of a review of maternity services but said if it did close home birth services would be improved.

A public consultation over the reconfiguration of maternity services in north Derbyshire is set to continue until the end of April with a final decision expected in June.

Home births

But Kate Carlton-Reditt, organiser of the protest group, said the consultation was flawed.

"We feel that it is leading at best and misleading at worse," she said.

"It doesn't give people the option to actually say they want to keep Darley.

"They also say there will be a change in home births but we feel they won't be available because of the cuts in the number of midwives."

A spokesman for Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the site, said that if the unit was closed home birth services would be improved to offer greater choice for women.

Maternity cuts 'a risk to care'
08 Jan 07 |  Health

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