Protests force U-turn on maternity unit closure - Guardian
"As revealed in the Guardian, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Trust had said it would have to shut the rural Darley Dale unit in Matlock, north Derbyshire, because, with just 120 babies born there each year, it was losing £312,000 annually.
But the decision meant heavily pregnant women would have to travel for up to an hour along country roads to give birth. The closure also flew in the face of plans announced by the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, to allow every woman the choice of a home, hospital or midwife-led birth by 2009.
The same recommendations were made by the maternity tsar Dr Sheila Shribman, and are set to be made by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice).
The plan to permanently close the unit - which has been temporarily closed since the autumn - prompted 5,500 local people and the commissioning primary care trust to protest when it was announced as non-negotiable in a consultation document on revamping maternity services.
Today the trust bowed to this pressure - and to the threat, by the Maintain Our Maternity Services (Moms) campaign group, to seek a judicial review over the handling of the consultation."
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