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March To Save Childrens Services At Dorset County

Bragg Save Our Wards

Published at 7:38am 16th September 2016. (Updated at 11:36am 16th September 2016)

Dorset's Billy Bragg is backing campaigners who are fighting to keep the children's and maternity services at Dorset County Hospital.

The singer is taking part in a protest tomorrow in Dorchester, where hundreds are expected to march through the town.

Members of the 'Save Our Wards' campaign went along to see Billy in Weymouth, when he was performing for bus drivers out on strike.

He told Wessex FM it's important that Kingfisher and the special care baby unit stays at DCH.

"Dorchester is under threat for some of its services so I want to show solidarity with the campaigners. It's very important for people in this part of Dorset that Dorset County Hospital retains all of its services."

Sian Teague's son Ralphie was born nine weeks early and spent six weeks in SCBU.  He is living with a severe form of Cerebral palsy.

Sian says she will struggle if facilities move to either Yeovil or East Dorset.

"It was so quick the way Ralphie was born and I couldn't imagine having to travel all that way. It's ridiculous. It should stay."

Dr Forbes Watson, Chair of NHS Dorset CCG:

“Since the launch of the Clinical Services Review we have had several meetings with representatives of the Save SCBU and Kingfisher group to discuss the recommendations for local services and understand their concerns. An outcome of the last meeting was a number of planned activities including focus groups with users of local services which we trying to finalise.

In order to ensure people can find out more about the recommendations for maternity and paediatric care we are going to publish a summary via our social media channels. Alternatively it will be available via www.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk.

As we have been clear about since the launch of the CSR no decisions will be made until we have taken account of the views that will be collected during the public consultation.

During the consultation we want as many people as possible to have their say so are encouraging people to find out more via www.dorsetsvision.nhs.uk or to sign up for our email newsletter by joining our Health Involvement Network. We also encourage people to follow us on social media for the latest updates.  

Details of the public consultation will be publicised widely once we are able to confirm the details”.

Dr Karen Kirkham, Deputy Clinical Chair NHS Dorset CCG said "This independent review of children's healthcare across the county gives us comprehensive detail of what we currently have in place and explores a number of recommendations for how we could make things better for children and their families.

"Whilst throughout Dorset we have a highly committed and dedicated workforce, in common with the rest of the NHS nationally local services face significant challenges in the future.

"If we are to continue to provide high quality sustainable services for local mothers and their children we need to have a true understanding of the current picture and an honest and open conversation about how things can be improved.

You can find out more here www.dorsetccg.nhs.uk.

Walkers who want to take part in the March are being asked to meet at Top O' Town Car Park at 1pm - before the March sets off at 1.30pm.

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