Hospital services under threat - public meeting in March is packed

Doddington Hospital. Picture: Steve Williams.

Doddington Hospital. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

March Town Hall was packed for a meeting to discuss the threat to services at Doddington Hospital, North Cambridgeshire Hospital in Wisbech and the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely.

North Cambs Hospital entrance

North Cambs Hospital entrance - Credit: Archant

Martin Field secretary for Wisbech, March and District Trades Council which organised the event, said; “The CCG were unable to find someone to speak at the meeting but they provided written answers for questions and issues.

“Many of these were read out but in many cases, far from reassuring the audience that our health services were safe, they further highlighted the fact that the minor injury units (MIU) and other services were all under threat.

“The fate of our services is to be determined not by need, or demand but by the market forces that say services that can be run for a profit will continue and those that a business cannot make money from will go.”

Mr Field said a key point was that the MIUs were not the only service under threat.

Princess of Wales Hospital Ely

Princess of Wales Hospital Ely - Credit: Archant

“If we only focus on saving the one service then we will fail to save all the other parts of our NHS that are under threat,” he said.

Maureen Coker from Friends of Doddington Hospital, said: “Doddington Hospital is well placed for the people of Chatteris, Doddington, Manea, March, Wimblington and surrounding villages.

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“Working in the hospital shop, I have conversations with quite a few patients. Many are elderly, some have mobility difficulties; some find even coming to a small hospital a daunting experience.

“At Doddington, patients do not have to sit and wait for long periods before they are called in to their appointment.

“The hospital also benefits local businesses and factories, as staff do not have to take long periods off work to go to Doddington as they would for Hinchingbrook or Peterborough appointments.

“If Doddington closes, will the NHS be arranging for extra ambulances to be available to take patients to either of the two other hospitals?

“Surely this is going to be costly. It would also affect Community Transport as they would have to allow more time for the extra journeys.”

Speakers at the meeting were Margaret Ridley, from Keep Our NHS Public, Jo Rust, Unison regional organiser, Maureen Coker representing the Friends of Doddington Hospital and county councillor Paul Sales.

• Public meetings with the CCG are being held at the Recreation Hall on the Doddington Hospital site on Tuesday August 23 from 7 to 9pm.

• Rosmini Centre, Wisbech, on Thursday August 25 from 6.30 to 8.30pm.

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