Since news first broke yesterday about secret plans to axe minor injuries units in Ely, Doddington and Wisbech, things have been happening fast.
Spotted in Ely’s #saveourminorinjuriesunit campaign – to keep the Minor Injuries Unit open at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely – has had an overwhelming response from local residents, with numerous stories about the lifeline the service provides in our expanding community.
Here is a summary of the latest developments.
• In a statement released this evening, Dr Gary Howsam, GP Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, has not ruled out closing down the three minor injuries units in Ely, Doddington and Wisbech, saying “no decisions have been made”. The group is addressing a projected £250m financial shortfall and plans to review its minor injury services in East Cambridgeshire and Fenland. It’s looking at a number of options, including continuing the current provision, restructuring the units, giving their roles to other primary and community care providers or “developing alternative models and facilities”. If any changes are made there will be a public consultation, the group says.
• A petition launched by Ely resident Emma Watson, calling on Dr Howsam to save the three units, had got 2595 signatures by 9pm tonight. Emma is due to be interviewed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire tomorrow morning to talk about her petition. You can sign the petition here.
• Local MPs Lucy Frazer and Steve Barclay have said they will campaign for the three units to be preserved. The report recommending their closure was first leaked to Mr Barclay by a whistleblower. The MP then decided to expose the news to the media.
• Numerous residents have been in touch with Spotted in Ely to share their very positive experiences of using the Minor Injuries Unit at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely. Residents have expressed concern about the impact its closure may have Addenbrookes’ Accident and Emergency department, which is already at breaking point, with people being told to stay away for non-emergencies. Patients are also worried about Ely’s geographical isolation from hospitals such as Addenbrookes, Hinchingbrooke, Bury St Edmunds and King’s Lynn Hospitals, about the difficulties in accessing GP appointments, and about the impact that the possible closure of the units would have on our expanding city and infrastructure.