Wisbech hospital opened at weekends to cover for the Queen Elizabeth at King’s Lynn when it struggled with patient numbers - so why suggest closing?
- Credit: Archant
Patients are fighting for minor injury treatment centres to stay open in the Fens after leaked documents showed they could be closed in a bid to save millions of pounds.
Six public meetings have attracted record crowds with people desperate to have their say about the future of services at Doddington, Wisbech and Ely hospitals.
NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay is leading a fight for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborugh Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to realise the devastating impact it will have on rural communities if the three hospital MIUs are closed.
He says that instead of closing them they should be upgraded to rapid Response Units or Urgent Care Centres.
Malcolm Bruce, co chairman of the Friends of the Wisbech Hospitals, said he is sad and angry that they think closing the vital lifeline of local hospitals is a viable option.
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“Two winters ago the Wisbech Hospital opened its minor injury clinic at weekends to take the pressure off the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King’s Lynn which was so busy it had to ask for help.
“It paid for the weekend cover so it is obviously at the high quality level required and is a needed service.
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“What is going to happen to the 33,000 people in the Fens who use this service? It will simply load onto already over stretched A&E departments in other hospitals.
“There’s an awful lot of money which has been ploughed into Wisbech Hospital, it is a valuable resource.”
Around £250,000 has been spent on the hospital in the last three years thanks to money bequeathed to the Friends alongside fund raising, he said.
“I can’t see how shutting MIUs will create a saving. It doesn’t make sense,” he added.
Mr Barclay said he has: “emphasised the importance of retaining local walk-in access for minor injuries, given our growing population, public transport constraints,and the time and cost of travel to hospital.
“Closing the MIUs will not only be very unpopular locally but it is unlikely to deliver significant savings for the CCG,” he said.
• Thursday September 8 at March Community Centre, March, 6.30 to 8pm.
• Tuesday September 20 at Queen Mary Centre, Wisbech, 6.30 to 8pm.
• Wednesday September 21 at Chatteris Parish Church, 6.30 to 8pm.
• Tuesday September 27 at The Maltings, Ely, 6.30 to 8pm.