Campaigners hand over petition to health chiefs in latest effort to save outpatients clinics

Dr Gary Howsam, MP Steve Barclay, Friends member Maureen Coker, chief officer of the CCG Tracy Dowli

Dr Gary Howsam, MP Steve Barclay, Friends member Maureen Coker, chief officer of the CCG Tracy Dowling, and Friends member Mary Barrett. - Credit: Archant

A petition containing over 6,700 signatures has been presented to health chiefs in a bid to save the outpatients facilities in Doddington from closure.

Friends of Doddington Hospital representatives Maureen Coker and Mary Barrett met with MP Steve Barclay to present the 6,708 signatures to chief officer of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Tracy Dowling, on Friday (16).

Mr Barclay and Ms Dowling were then joined by GPs and practice managers from Chatteris, March, Doddington, Ely and Soham, Dr Gary Howsam from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG and SE Cambridgeshire MP, Lucy Frazer, who discussed how the groups can work together to ensure that walk-in services in Wisbech, Doddington and Ely can remain open.

Mr Barclay outlined his plan for the Minor Injury Unit (MIU) sites to co-locate other services alongside the current walk-in feature, which he believes is a “crucial requirement locally.”

He said: “This was a positive meeting discussing how all health stakeholders can better work together to ensure that the necessary walk-in feature is available at these sites.

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“It is clear that the CCG need to make efficiency savings, but we need to deliver these in a way which avoids simply displacing cost from the MIUs to local GPs, A&Es and ambulance services. I’m therefore looking forward to working with the CCG, GPs, practice managers and Lucy Frazer MP to ensure that good local healthcare provision remains in the area.”

Ms Frazer also said the meeting was “constructive,” and that the input of local healthcare providers is vital in securing the future of the county’s MIUs.

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She said: “We had a very constructive meeting. It was helpful to have a number of key stakeholders in one room to voice their views, and get answers to residents’ concerns.

“I was pleased to see that Tracy Dowling and Dr Howsam of the CCG were listening to the concerns of residents. I asked them to set out in clear terms their strategy in particular in respect to the site at Ely looking forward, including services; building plans; costs; and delivery outcomes.

“Following this, I reiterated that it was important that any such plans had local support. I look forward to their response, and look forward to working together with Steve Barclay MP to ensure good healthcare is provided and we retain local healthcare provision.”

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