LETTER: Some exciting news for POW?

At at time when the future of the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at the Princess of Wales (PoW) Hospital in Ely still hangs in the balance, it may be confusing but I hope exciting to people, to hear that the NHS is looking at ways to redevelop the PoW site to improve the buildings and facilities.

East Cambs District Council has been working closely with Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS) NHS Trust, the main provider at the PoW, over a number of months now, to consider how the site can be revamped to provide the modern healthcare facilities that Ely and the wider district so desperately needs.

In the meantime, I was encouraged at the last public meeting in Ely held by the clinical commissioning group (CCG) to hear that the CCG seemed to be in agreement with a number of principles about a future minor injuries service for our area, namely, that it needed to be a ‘walk in’ service, it must have back up diagnostic services, (such as X-ray), and that it needs to be kept local.

The only real remaining question would be about how the service is staffed, and that really is an internal debate for the CCG themselves and their NHS colleagues. If these principles are embraced in their recommended option when it comes forward, I think we can all get behind it.

I have attended a number of meetings with CCS and the wider NHS and am really excited by the possibilities for the future of the PoW site, which is so well located for health facilities. We wait to see the detailed plans which CCS has said they will be in a position to share with the public in the spring next year, but I believe this is a massively positive step.

I am also reassured that CCS in their guise as property owners are working closely with the CCG who is responsible for the commissioning of health services on the site, and who is working on their important Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

I believe the two plans will come nicely together in the early part of next year to present to the public what the future health care provision for our area will look like.

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Like many people, I am nostalgic about the halcyon days of our beloved RAF Hospital, but I am also really excited that our Hospital has a bright and important future.

ANNA BAILEY Cambs County Cllr Ely South & West East Cambs District Cllr

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