Cancer care beds closed at North Cambs Hospital, in Wisbech, for six weeks

North Cambs Hospital, Wisbech

North Cambs Hospital, Wisbech - Credit: Archant

Cancer care beds at the North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech have been closed for six weeks.

MP Steve Barclay.

MP Steve Barclay. - Credit: Archant

The three palliative care beds sit within Trafford Ward and are targeted for patients who need symptom management, care support and stepping stone care. Trafford Ward is open as usual.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, which runs elderly services at the hospital, was adamant that the three beds were not closed. However, a source told the Standard this week that the beds are not in use.

Steve Barclay, re-elected as MP for NE Cambs earlier this month, was told of the closure by a constituent whose neighbour travels to King’s Lynn for treatment because of the closure.

Last year Mr Barclay launched his Treat Me Local campaign to improve healthcare services in Fenland.

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He said: “This is deeply concerning. The fact that these beds are lying empty when there is clearly a demand for them is wrong.

“The fact that patients who are dying are now being forced to go to hospitals so far from home at such a distressing time is unacceptable and everything needs to be done to ensure this does not continue for any longer than is absolutely necessary.”

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Until April 1 responsibility for the three beds rested with Cambridgeshire Community Services, which had the contract for elderly services.

However, on April 1 the contract changed when it was won by UnitingCare Partnership. It commissions the service and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust provides the service.

Mr Barclay said: “I have contacted Debbie Morgan at UnitingCare Partnership, who is director for the Isle of Ely and Wisbech Locality, to ask why these beds have been closed for so long and when we can expect them to be reopened for patients.”

The Foundation Trust spokesman said the beds are not closed as the trust knows the value of the service.

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