Minor injury unit closes to allow staff to respond to crisis in the community
- Credit: Archant
Wisbech Minor Injury Unit (MIU) will temporarily close to the public from January 18 to enable staff to tackle the growing Covid-19 pandemic in the community,
“It will enable the experienced staff to be redeployed to provide vital additional capacity elsewhere in the local community,” said Dr Gary Howsam.
He is chair of NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that made the decision.
He said it was a temporary measure, which will be reviewed on a regular basis.
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The Ely MIU is still open at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely and for anyone requiring emergency medical care, the A&E departments at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Peterborough City Hospital or Hinchingbrooke Hospital are available.
Dr Howsam said: “The healthcare system across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is working together to respond to the latest increase in COVID-19 patients requiring healthcare support across the local area.
“With increasing numbers of COVID-19 positive cases in our local area we are carefully reviewing all of our services and staffing requirements to ensure we can respond to the rising pressures we once again face.
“Temporarily closing Wisbech Minor Injury Unit, in addition to the continued temporary closure of Doddington Minor Injury Unit, is not a decision we have made lightly.
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“We are incredibly thankful to the unit’s staff for their willingness to take on new local roles in response to the pandemic.
“We will review our decision on a regular basis to ensure that we can reopen these facilities as soon as possible.”
An NHS watchdog has tonight backed the decision.
Healthwatch chief executive Sandie Smith said, “Our health system leaders are having to make tough choices at the moment.
“The closure of Wisbech MIU is understandable as staff are needed to care for very sick patients elsewhere, or help deliver the largest vaccination programme we have ever seen.
“It is temporary and we are confident that it will reopen as soon as staff are available again.”
She added “We want to pass on our thanks to all of those in health and social care services – both on the front line and behind the scenes - who are working incredibly hard to care for people in these difficult times.”
She said that Healthwatch in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is working with the local NHS as they roll out the Covid-19 vaccination programme locally. And helping them make sure they get their messages for local people right.
Wisbech’s Minor Injury Unit reopened last August following months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.