Councillor offers cautious welcome to ‘forward thinking’ plans to turn MIUs at Doddington, Ely and Wisbech into community health care hubs

CCG meeting, Doddington

CCG meeting, Doddington - Credit: Archant

Don’t start the flag waving yet was the message from a minor injuries unit (MIU) campaigner who is not sure how a pilot project for the three centres – at Wisbech, Doddington and Ely- is going to work.

Wisbech councillor Virginia Bucknor questioned where the money might come for the extra staff needed to carry out the pilot and whether it would mean, for instance, the Wisbech MIU would now open at weekends.

“The document outlining the pilot is very slick but it lacks detail,” she said.

“Everybody is celebrating that it means MIUs will not close but here we have a pilot project that doesn’t seem to add up.

“They’ve put this out at the third week of January saying they will make a decision in February.

“Where is X ray machines going to come from for Wisbech for example, resources, facilities, and all questions that need asking?”

However NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay said he was delighted that from this spring the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be piloting the scheme to transform the three MIUS into local urgent care service (LUCS) hubs.

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Later these could be integrated with community services.

The MP said: “This forward thinking will make for a more efficient and convenient healthcare provision for constituents.”

Mr Barclay said health care hubs were something he had advocated during meetings with the CCG, local GPs and SE Cambs MP Lucy Frazer.

“This has been very successful elsewhere in the country and effectively addresses the CCG’s budgetary requirements while improving healthcare provision in our area,” said the MP.

“This is a pilot, so there will be more work to do, but is a huge step forward. “

Ely county councillor Anna Bailey said the MIU at the Princess of Wales hospital would be supported by GPs “with the intention of a phased development into an urgent care centre over time.

“This means that eventually, and on a phased basis, opening hours and diagnostic services will be extended and the range of issues that can be dealt with will be widened”.

She said alongside this would be proposals for the re-development of the hospital site.

“On a personal note, I am advocating that they use the opportunity to provide housing options for older people - much needed in East Cambs,” she said.

She expected a planning application soon