Outpatients clinics under-threat at Ely and Doddington hospitals as health chiefs strive to find someone to take over running them

Doddington Community Hospital

Doddington Community Hospital - Credit: Archant

Out-patient clinics at Doddington Hospital and Ely’s Princess of Wales Hospital are at risk unless a new provider can be found.

Princess of Wales Hospital Ely

Princess of Wales Hospital Ely - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) say they have been trying to find alternative providers for clinics at the two hospitals together with the City Care Centre in Peterborough for over a year - without success.

The need to find new providers follows the decision by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (CCS) to give notice that they no longer wished to provide the services in May last year.

The trust told the CCG at that time they “considered that other providers could more appropriately provide out-patient services at the Cambridgeshire community hospitals in Wisbech, Ely and Doddington and dermatology clinics at the city care centre.”

Since then the CCG say they have been trying to identify alternative providers. They say the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King’s Lynn has agreed to run the endoscopy, bladder scanning and phlebotomy clinics at the North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech.

But Tracey Dowling, the CCG’s chief operating officer says: “Despite discussions with local providers in relation to services provided at the Princess of Wales and Doddington hospitals and the City Care Centre an alternative provider has not been yet identified, although discussions are still ongoing and we remain hopeful about a successful outcome.”

She goes on to say the CCG “recognises how much these services are valued locally and will continue discussions with local providers. However, we need to make other arrangements quickly to ensure that patients will still receive good quality care, in good time.”

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At the moment all medical cover is provided by consultants from local acute hospitals such as Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge, Hinchingbrooke at Huntingdon and Peterborough City.

So Ms Dowling says the plan is for the CCG to make arrangements for patients currently seen at Doddington and Ely, and the care centre at Peterborough, to be seen at one of the acute hospitals.

The expectation is for staff at the community hospitals to be transferred to one of these providers under TUPE rules.

Ms Dowling says: “We understand that this possible option will be disappointing for staff and many patients. We will continue to look at other options, and will make further announcements as soon as possible.

“The CCG remains committed to keeping staff updated as discussions continue. We anticipate that we will be able to share with you the final outcome of our discussions in the very near future.”

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