Threatened clinics at Doddington, Wisbech and Ely, prompt outcry from worried people campaigning to keep services local.
- Credit: Archant
The fight is on to save outpatient services at three local hospitals.
Those services under threat include eye clinics, women’s scans, skin conditions and first appointments with surgeons.
A wide range of clinics are faced with closure at Doddington, Ely and Wisbech, prompting an outcry. A campaign to keep services local has begun.
It is feared that once gone the hospital buildings will be sold to developers.
At Wisbech, services come under the authority of King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust.
“Some services at Doddington were set to close at the end of March - but they have won a year’s reprieve - giving local people until the end of March 2017 to fight for them to stay open,” said campaigner Sue Marshall, one of those leading the fight.
“We are urging people to choose one of the three sites on the NHS choose and book system and urging local doctors to refer people there to make sure they remain busy to prove there is a demand for the service.
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“It will be an absolute disaster if the clinics go, if we can nip it in the bud now we stand a chance, because once they are lost they will never come back,” she added.
“Its a big problem with this being such a rural community, public transport is a nightmare, people struggle to get to the bigger hospitals like Peterborough, Huntingdon or Addenbrooke’s, many rely on the local hospitals, they are easier to get to and have free parking.”
A public meeting of around 40 people was held on Thursday night (June 2) in March full of worried people.
Concerns were particularly expressed about the impact it will have on the elderly.
Organised by the Wisbech, March and District Trades Union Council, the meeting in March Town Hall, showed that many people felt Doddington Hospital was deliberately not having patients referred to it making it difficult to reach its patient number target, said Ms Marshall, chairman of the NE Cambs Labour Party.
She added: “Many people are too unwell to travel any distance. The possibility of losing more local services is causing a lot of stress to patients and their families.
“There are rumblings that the buildings could go to private developers.””
A petition is online to save NHS services in Fenland and will be presented to the CCG. It is online at change.org protect local NHS services in Fenland. The local Labour Party has joined forces with the TUC, Keep our NHS, Unison, Friends of Doddington and others to campaign against the threatened loss of local NHS services.
Already a petition is at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel in March and the Doddington Hospital Friends shop urging people to support the keep Doddington open campaign.
SERVICES UNDER THREAT
• WISBECH: North Cambs Hospital run by Queen Elizabeth Hospital:
Colorectal, dermatology, diabetic medicine, dietetic, endocrinology, ENT, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynaecology, midwifery, neurology, obstetrics, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, orthotics, paediatrics, paediatric enuresis, respiratory medicine, rheumatology, urology, dental and oral hygiene
Visiting consultants and other professionals from Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke Hospitals provide outpatient services at Doddington in audiology, cardiology, dermatology, ENT, endocrinology, gastroenterology, colorectal, gynaecology, general surgery, lymphoedema Clinic (provided by Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust), ophthalmology, orthopaedics, orthoptics, respiratory, rheumatology.
• ELY: Princess of Wales Hospital:
Audiology, dermatology, elderly care, ENT, gastroenterology, general surgery, gynaecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, orthotics, paediatrics, physiotherapy, rheumatology and urogynaecology