MP Barclay launches investigation after woman claims she is refused help by out of hours medics at North Cambs Hospital

North Cambs Hospital.

North Cambs Hospital. - Credit: Archant

An MP has launched an investigation after a woman claims she was refused treatment by an out of hours doctors’ service in Wisbech.

The woman, who didn’t want to be named, severed a nerve in her index finger while working with secateurs in her garden on a Saturday last month.

A neighbour rushed her to the North Cambs Hospital but the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is closed at weekends and a member of staff referred her to the North Brink Practice which houses an out of hours doctors service.

She has contacted MP Steve Barclay, who launched his Treat Me Local campaign earlier this year to improve health provision across the Fens.

One of the 10 points of the campaign is to see the area’s minor injuries units opened for longer, including seeing the North Cambs Hospital’s MIU opened at weekends.

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The woman said: “I was bleeding profusely when I walked in, there were three people in the room, and I’ve since been told one was a doctor and one was a nurse, but instead of offering to help me they told me I would have to go A&E at the Queen Elizabeth in King’s Lynn or to Doddington Hospital.

“They didn’t even offer to bandage it or try to stop the bleeding. I was so upset and shocked I just wanted to go home, but my neighbour realised I needed to see someone to get the cut seen to.

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“We went home first so I could have a drink because I was so upset and then another neighbour took me to King’s Lynn.

“I don’t know why the staff at the out of hours doctors’ service wouldn’t help me, which is why I have written to Mr Barclay.

“And I have told him I’m supporting his “Treat Me Local” health campaign, because if the North Cambs Hospital’s minor injuries unit was open on Saturdays all the upset could have been avoided.

“My neighbour would not have had to take me to King’s Lynn and wait for over 45 minutes until I could be seen at the A&E, it would have been so convenient to be treated at the Wisbech hospital.”

Mr Barclay said: “This illustrates why it is so important for better health services to be provided in our area.

“Having both the Doddington and Wisbech MIUs open longer in the evening and the Wisbech one open at weekends would cut out so many unnecessary hospital trips.

“Treating patients at A&E costs more than it does to be seen at an MIU so it would not only be better for patients, who would not have to make lengthy journeys to hospital and the NHS would save money.”

Jessica Bawden, director of Corporate Affairs, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Whilst Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group are unable to comment on individual patients, we are aware that Urgent Care Cambridgeshire (providers of the Out of Hours Service) have already spoken to the patient, and we would like to invite the patient to contact our patient experience team to discuss any further issues raised.

“Out of Hours Primary Care Centres are not currently contracted to provide a patient drop in service and are not equipped to treat all injuries.

“Minor Injury Units and Accident and Emergency Departments are fully equipped to provide a service for patients who need urgent treatment, if they are unable to wait to see their GP the following day, or need more urgent treatment.

“Patients are advised to call 111 first so that they can be directed to the most appropriate care facility.

“The CCG is about to commence a review of the out of hours services available across the region and are considering procurement options which may include commissioning additional services.”

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