Outpatients clinics at Doddington and Ely hospitals are safe for the next 12 months

Steve Barclay MP

Steve Barclay MP - Credit: Archant

Outpatients’ clinics at Doddington Hospital and the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely have been saved for the next 12 months.

Doddington Community Hospital

Doddington Community Hospital - Credit: Archant

The announcement was made by Matthew Winn, chairman of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, to staff on yesterday evening.

He said: “The Trust board has today discussed the situation relating to outpatient services at Doddington and the Princess of Wales Hospital, Ely and the unenviable position this places staff and patients in.

“I am pleased to confirm that the Trust board has agreed to extend its notice period with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG) until 31 March 2017. We hope this decision provides staff and local people with reassurance, whilst the CCG plans to commission sustainable local services and appoint an alternative provider for outpatient services on these community hospital sites.”

The announcement follows a week of uncertainty for staff and patients after the CCG announced outpatients’ clinics would be moving to acute hospitals from the end of May after they failed to secure an alternative provider for the services - despite having 12 months notice from the CCS.

Princess of Wales Hospital Ely

Princess of Wales Hospital Ely - Credit: Archant

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Local MP Steve Barclay, held urgent talks with Tracey Dowling, chief operating officer of the CCG, and GPs on Friday after it was made public that the CCG had failed to find anyone willing to take over running the clinics.

Lack of use and financial viability were blamed for the lack of an alternative provider stepping in and Mr Barclay discovered local doctors were having difficulties referring patients to the Doddington and Ely hospitals.

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He called for urgent action to allow patients to be referred locally by their GPs and also wanted the CCG to give exact figures on what would make the outpatients services financially viable.

He welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the CCS and said: “I welcome this one year extension but it is disappointing that staff were put through the worry they have experienced for the last week.

“We now have time to fully explore with the CCG how we improve the commissioning of outpatient services at both Doddington and Ely not just to retain existing services but increase services.

“For example how we can increase referrals to the musculoskeletal clinics and I will also be discussing with the CCG how we can have a once stop urological service.

“It is good we have now got some time. I will be arranging follow up meetings with local GPs and the CCG so that we can start looking forward and what arrangements can be put in place. I will be holding a meeting with key players next Friday as a starting point.”

Tracy Dowling said: “I am pleased to confirm that Cambridgeshire Community Services have agreed to continue to the run the outpatient services at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Ely and Doddington Hospital until 31 March 2017. This will enable the CCG to go out to formal tender for these services, so that a new provider is in place in good time.

“I would like to reassure patients that these services are continuing and thank staff for their patience in recent weeks. We know how valued these services are and we are working with local GPs to increase their use over the coming months. We will be reviewing how to make best use of these important services in the community as part of the procurement.”

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