Don’t even THINK about axing our Minor Injuries Unit is the message from local residents, following a leaked report recommending its closure.
Patients from across East Cambridgeshire have reacted furiously to the news that the popular service at Ely’s Princess of Wales Hospital may be shut down due to a lack of finances.
Speaking to Spotted in Ely, resident Lynda Bowden said people throughout East Cambridgeshire depended on the unit and called on health bosses to “think again before depriving us of such an invaluable service and wonderful, caring professionals.”
She has attended the unit on numerous occasions, including when she needed stitches on her hand for a deep cut, treatment following a dog bite and severe nosebleeds.
“On one occasion last year, we had a very dear family member being cared for at home who required a prescription for medication for pancreatic cancer. The district nurse was to administer the medication (which was a controlled drug). The only way we could obtain the prescription was to go to minor injuries and get the duty doctor to raise it then collect meds from Ely pharmacy.
“Had the ‘powers that be’ watched this sort of suffering (please God they never will), would they still continue to even consider taking away such a lifeline?”
She said she had never attended the unit and found it empty of patients.
“Sometimes it’s standing room only.
“Our community is rapidly increasing yet our vital services are diminishing…What happens without this vital service when you can’t get treatment at health centres – ‘no appointments for at least a week’ – just keep bleeding or travel to Addenbrookes A&E!
Laura Sims, who suffers from hyper mobility syndrome, has regularly attended the unit.
“They helped me when I was pain a lot, I had physiotherapy and that’s where one of the doctors saw the signs of my condition and helped to get me diagnosed.
“Addenbrookes is half an hour away from Ely, and when you get there, you are waiting at least three to four hours to be seen. This happened to me when I dislocated my hip.”
The unit is a “life support” for people in Ely, she said.
“Closing minor injuries unit would cause chaos within this beautiful city, I truly believe something needs to be done to save the unit. They saved me more times than I would like to admit and I owe them so much gratitude and respect for everything they do. I have never had a bad experience there.”
Mother of two Lucy Willowby attended the unit after falling down stairs when her oldest daughter, Emily, was four months old.
“I twisted all the ligaments in the front of my leg. It was so good having minor injuries to go to for an x-ray, especially with having such a small baby to cart around too.
“It was very quick and efficient which with a baby approaching bedtime was amazing. Travelling to A&E would have been a very stressful experience.”
People have also been expressing their anger and concern on Spotted in Ely’s Facebook page, with overwhelming support for keeping the service open.
Earlier today, the BBC reported that a confidential report by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group had recommended closing minor injuries units at Ely, Wisbech and Doddington due to “financial problems”.
Earlier this year, patients across Cambridgeshire were reminded to use their minor injuries units to avoid putting unnecessary strain on Accident and Emergency services at Addenbrookes in Cambridge.
A petition has been launched to save Ely’s Minor Injuries Unit from possible closure. You can sign it here.