A FAMILY from Portland have thrown their weight behind the campaign to protect paediatric services at Dorset County Hospital.

And they fear for the future of the Damers Road Children's Centre that works closely with the Kingfisher Ward at DCH.

Danielle Richards has many appointments at the centre for her 12-year-old son, Adam, who suffers from a rare genetic condition.

The family are concerned that if Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans are backed, which would see children who need long-term care or who are seriously ill being sent to Bournemouth or Poole, then the children's centre could also be at risk.

Adam's grandmother Karen Cameron-Clark said: "Adam is at the children's centre for regular appointments and is often sent to the Kingfisher Ward to have procedures.

"He suffers from a rare genetic condition and has complex special needs, both physical and learning.

"There are only 36 cases of his condition.

"My daughter lives on Portland and it is difficult enough to get to Dorchester, never mind to the east.

"How on earth are we meant to get there?

"We can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone and we are worried about the prospect of having to make the journey, already a difficult one, even further afield.

"Adam has the mental age of about five but he is a strong boy and travelling with him is an absolute nightmare."

Ms Richards said: "The staff at the centre and Kingfisher are really good with him, and for him to have to change to a different hospital will be very hard.

"He finds it very difficult to trust people.

"He trusts the people at the centre and Kingfisher to take his blood.

"If he doesn't trust them, which he won't if we have to travel to the east of the county, we have to pin him down and I don't want to have to do that all over again.

"He won't understand why we are going to a different hospital; it won't be good for him.

"This will have a massive effect on him."

Dr Forbes Watson, chairman of NHS Dorset CCG said: "There are no plans being discussed by Dorset CCG that would see the closure of the Children’s Centre at Damers Road.

"A wide range of high quality and safe services would continue to be offered including, and not limited to, CAMHS, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy."

A DCH governor’s meeting is being held today to discuss the overhaul of Dorset's healthcare.


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