'Blindly closing community hospitals is an era that is over': Minor Injuries Units at Doddington, Wisbech and Ely saved
Minor injuries units at three Cambridgeshire hospitals have been saved after it was announced that a government policy will focus on "keeping healthcare local".
North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech, The Princess of Wales in Ely and Doddington Hospital had been under threat of losing their MIUs for several years.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, announced that “blindly closing community hospitals is an era that is over” as he addressed members at the Conservative party conference on Tuesday.
Mr Hancock MP said that there needs to be “more treatment closer to home and the communities they serve, to empower people to have control over their own health”.
It comes as a pilot scheme in Ely and the Fens to ease pressure on busy A&E departments received another year of funding in August, as it was agreed to extend the Local Urgent Care Services (LUCS) for a further 12 months.
Health minister and MP for North East Cambs Steve Barclay hailed today’s announcement as being a “major step forward”.
In a post on his Facebook page this afternoon, he said: “Localising health care in community hospitals confirmed as government policy in boost for North Cambs, Doddington and Ely
“For a number of years as a local MP I have been calling for an end to the centralisation of health services in ever larger hospitals, and for more care to be moved into local community hospitals like Doddington, Ely and North Cambs which reduces travel time for patients.
“This week the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock MP made clear this will now be a government priority.
“Clinical data shows some health services benefit from greater centralisation, like blue lighting in an ambulance a stroke patient past certain hospitals to a specialist stroke centre which improves surgical rates.
“Professor Tim Briggs, one of our top surgeons, is leading a national programme on the medical specialities where a hub and spoke model applies best.
“But to date we have been too slow to do the other side of the coin, which is to localise those services which are less specialist, like tests and scans or pre and post operation consultations, where greater use of technology can be made on more local sites.
“Having worked in parliament to make the case for this change, the announcement this week is a major step forward. I will now work with our local Clinical Commissioning Group and hospital bosses to press for it to be delivered.”