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Labour and Conservative councillors at loggerheads over future of Bassetlaw healthcare

County Hall.
County Hall.

A war of words has broken out over healthcare in Bassetlaw after councillors passed a motion calling for services to be kept within the Nottinghamshire boundary.

Labour councillors at Nottinghamshire County Council were left “fuming” after Conservatives at the Tory-run authority voted on a motion calling for Bassetlaw to become part of the Nottinghamshire sustainability and transformation partnership.

The Labour group said it feared the move would cut Bassetlaw off from vital healthcare links in South Yorkshire, increasing travel times and “putting lives at risk”.

Councillor Alan Rhodes, Labour leader on the council and member for Worksop North, said: “The Conservatives outrageously put party politics before patients by voting to make Bassetlaw people travel to Kings Mill in Sutton and the Nottingham hospitals for their hospital care when care is not available in Bassetlaw.

“Bassetlaw residents know it is far easier due to road, rail and public transport links for Bassetlaw patients to travel to Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham than to be made to travel to Kings Mill or any of the Nottingham hospitals.

“That travel time could be crucial for patients and lives could be put at risk as a result of this vote.”

But Coun Stuart Wallace, council adult social and public health committee chairman, defended the motion and accused the Labour group of “scaremongering”.

He said: “We believe Nottinghamshire health and social care services working closely together meets the needs of local people and ensures better value for public money.

“The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Health and Care STP, which is helping to integrate and transform health and social care services in the county, will help meet this aim.

“The STP is categorically not about diverting Bassetlaw residents to Kings Mill and they will still able to choose which hospital they want to be treated in under any future plans.”