Unite, which represents NHS workers, together with SOS NHS Derbyshire is holding a candlelit demonstration outside Derby council this Wednesday (November 21), in protest at plans to axe a vital psychotherapy service that assists adults profoundly affected by severe abuse in childhood.
Despite the service being in such demand that only one in three of the adults who are referred to the service can be accepted, the south Derbyshire clinical commissioning group (CCG) has launched a consultation to have the service removed describing it as “nice to have” but not a “must do” service. The CCG claims that as the service is difficult to deliver in the north of the county, the entire county should lose its benefits as a result.
The candlelit protest will take place at on Wednesday, November 21 at 5.15pm outside Derby City Council offices prior to a full council meeting at 6pm. The demonstration will show the strength of feeling felt by local residents, to encourage councillors, to intervene and have the proposals dropped.
Unite also understands that NHS commissioners are considering launching a consultation into all therapy services currently being offered in Derbyshire, which could offer fresh proposals for this service. If this is the case Unite believes that the current consultation is at best unnecessary and at worst is pre-empting a wider more thorough consultation
Unite regional officer Maureen Scott-Douglas said, “Adults in Derbyshire who have experienced the most extreme forms of trauma such as physical, mental and sexual abuse, face being denied specialist help which helps them recover from their experiences.
“It is imperative that Derby council heeds residents’ concerns and acts to ensure that this service is not cancelled,” she added.
“Rather than cutting the service because it is difficult to deliver in one part of Derbyshire, the commissioners should be arguing for increased funding to ensure that everyone in the county can benefit.
“Cutting the service is an entirely false economy — if this service is not available then those needing assistance are extremely likely to require far more additional assistance in the future, their problems are not going to disappear.
“Dedicated psychotherapists who are totally committed to helping others are needlessly facing the prospect of having their lives turned upside down.”
The consultation which opened last month will close on Friday 11 January.