ENSURING that Ashfield Health Village is sustainable for the future was one of the key issues to emerge from a public event held in Kirkby.
The Big Health Forum event was organised by the Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and was a chance for folk to have their say on health issues such as care for the elderly and services for people with long-term conditions.
At the event, which took place at the Summit Centre last Wednesday, people were asked for their opinions on which services should be a priority for the districts.
They were also asked to fill in a questionaire on whether Ashfield Health Village in Kirkby should be open five or seven days a week and what services they would like at the centre.
A fortnight ago, we reported that the dementia wards, Shelly and Bronte would move from the health village to to King’s Mill Hospital and Highbury at Bulwell as part of a £1.5million shake-up of the services.
However, proposals would could see the stroke rehabilitation ward move to King’s Mill and the neurological rehabilitation ward move to Mansfield Community Hospital have not yet been decided - and the open day was an opportunity for people to have their say on this.
There will also be a further consultation in the New Year, with an event planned for 17th January.
Julie Andrews, practice liaiaon manager, said: “We’re asking people to think about the priorities locally for health and where we focus our efforts and investment.”
Speaking at the event, Jim Aspinall, who is secretary of the Ashfield Labour party, said: “We want to see a sustainable health village in Kirkby. We want assurances that the (health) hub has a long-term viable future.”
Coun Linford Gibbons, who is vice-chairman of Ashfield District Council said he was concerned that the health village would be left to ‘mothball’ following the relocation of the two wards.
He said: “They have created a big space in the village itself. My concern is that they might mothball it.”
He also said that he would like to see the facility open for seven days a week rather than five.
“We could have an emergency dentist or an alcohol abuse service. It’s a community asset - we want to keep it.”
As well as the health village, one of the ideas put forward was a focus not just on the person living with a long-term condition but their families as well.
Peter Robinson, a lay members of the CCG, said that he had come to the event to get a ‘fresher view’ on the area’s health challenges and that services should be available for families.