Wisbech councillor demands answers over threat to minor injuries units while MP Steve Barclay urges public to attend consultation meetings

Cllr Virginia Bucknor. Waterlees Village.(Ind)

Cllr Virginia Bucknor. Waterlees Village.(Ind) - Credit: Archant

Questions will be asked and answers expected by Wisbech independent councillor Virginia Bucknor at a consultation meeting to discuss the proposed closure of the area’s minor injuries units.

NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay.

NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay. - Credit: Archant

The representative for Waterlees Village ward in Wisbech has contacted the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group with four questions she expects answered.

She wrote: “Questions were raised at Ely and I would imagine very similar questions will be asked at the Rosmini in Wisbech on Thursday.”

Cllr Bucknor asks: “We have 44,000 patients registered at doctors surgeries in Wisbech. Why is it being considered to close the MIU when the Government (not property developers) are proposing an additional 12,000 properties to be built in Wisbech.

“Why are patients already being told that appointments are unavailable at the North Cambs Hospital until January 2017 and therefore must travel to the Queen Elizabeth. It cost my neighbour £44 to do this recently and when she queried this with her specialist, she was told that this was incorrect and she could have seen him at Wisbech.

Poster advertising public consultation meetings on the MIUs at Doddington, Wisbech and Ely

Poster advertising public consultation meetings on the MIUs at Doddington, Wisbech and Ely - Credit: Archant

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“The pathology laboratory is extremely busy throughout the day, every day. Please advise what is proposed for this lab in the future. I am told it is to be privatised?

“You will be aware that areas of Wisbech are the most deprived in Cambridgeshire and in the top six per cent for child deprivation in the UK.

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“One of the deprivation issues is lack of access to facilities as we have extremely poor transport. To go to our nearest hospital, the QEH, is a minimum current cost by taxi of approximately £22 if a patient cannot undertake the walk to the nearest X1 bus stop and then change at King’s Lynn - two buses with a journey time of approximately two hours.”

She concludes her email by saying: “I will be asking these questions next Thursday so this is an opportunity to have the answers prepared in good time.”

In the meantime local MP Steve Barclay is urging everyone to attend the meeting at the Rosmini Centre in Queens Road, Wisbech from 6.30pm and also the other meetings planned.

There is a meeting at Doddington recreation hall in Benwick Road on Tuesday (23) from 6.30pm, and another meeting at March Community Centre in Station Road on Thursday September 8 at the same time.

Mr Barclay said: “Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are holding two public meetings in North East Cambridgeshire next week, to discuss the future of the MIU and Outpatient services in our area.

“Although the CCG maintain in public that no decisions have been made about the future of our services, I have seen a leaked document from a senior official at the CCG earlier this year which suggests otherwise.

“The document states that the “only option” is to close the MIU units in both Doddington and Wisbech, and we need to ensure that the public consultation which now takes place reflects the assurances belatedly made by the CCG.

“These services are vital to our area and losing them would be hugely detrimental. I urge everyone available to attend these meetings. I have also already met with the chairman of the CCG Dr Gary Howsam for a one to one meeting following these revelations to make clear my opposition to any closure, am meeting in the next fortnight with the chief executive of the CCG again, and will be chairing a meeting of senior health professions including the CCG in mid-September to review the large amount of data that I have requested from the CCG in order to challenge any possible closure.

The public meetings will be on:

• Tuesday 23 August, 7.00-9.00pm at Doddington Recreation Hall, Doddington Community Hospital, Benwick Road, Doddington, Cambridgeshire, PE15 0UG

• Thursday 25 August, 6.30-8.30pm at the Rosmini Centre, 69A Queens Road, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, PE13 2PH

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