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Weekly title in bid to save birthing unit

A Derbyshire weekly is leading a campaign to save the town’s birthing centre after NHS bosses announced plans to close it.

The Buxton Advertiser launched its Hands Off Corbar campaign following an announcement in May that the unit would close as a cost cutting measure.

The Johnston Press-owned title has run a page every week as part of the campaign and has also printed posters and run an action day in the town to gather signatures. Local businesses have also created campaign stickers free of charge.

As well as this a petition containing more than 4,600 signatures calling on the Primary Care Trust to maintain services at Corbar was handed over to David Sharp, chief executive of NHS Derbyshire County and Mark Todd, chairman of the trust.

Reporter Louise Bellicoso, who is running the campaign said: “The public have been incredibly supportive and I have been inundated her with emails after requesting peoples’ stories about their experiences with the centre.”

The campaign has also gained support from local MP Andrew Bingham and local councillors.

The newspaper's campaign logo

The health trust said the birth centres were being targeted to make savings as new treatments and an ageing population put pressure on services.

The PCT have said they are reviewing only where births take place and that all antenatal/postnatal appointments and antenatal classes would continue to be provided locally.

The decision over the centre will be made by NHS Derbyshire in December.