Patient backs Fenland MP’s health campaign

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A patient has backed a local MP’s health campaign after claiming she was refused treatment at an out-of-hours doctors’ service.

The woman, who does not want to be named, severed a nerve in her index finger while working with secateurs in her garden.

A neighbour rushed her to the North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech, but the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) was closed as it was a weekend, and she was referred to the town’s North Brink Practice, which houses an out-of-hours doctors’ service.

She was bleeding profusely by the time she arrived, but she was refused treatment and told to go to the Accident and Emergency departmentat the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn or Doddington Hospital.

She said: “When I walked in there were three people in the room, and I’ve since been told one was a doctor and one was a nurse, but instead of offering to help me they told me to go elsewhere.

“They didn’t even offer to bandage it or try to stop the bleeding. I was so upset and shocked I just wanted to go home, but my neighbour realised I needed to get the cut seen to. We went home first so I could have a drink, and then another neighbour took me to King’s Lynn.”

The patient has since contacted North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay, who has pledged to investigate what happened.

She is also backing his Treat Me Local health campaign, which is aiming to improve health care provision across the Fens.

She said: “I’m supporting the campaign because if the North Cambs Hospital’s MIU was open on Saturdays all the upset could have been avoided.

“My neighbour would not have had to take me to King’s Lynn and wait for over 45 minutes until I could be seen at A&E, it would have been so convenient to be treated at the Wisbech hospital.”

She stressed that her gripe was with the out-of-hours service and not the North Brink Practice, who she said have been “wonderful” dressing the wound every two days since the incident.

One of the 10 points of Mr Barclay’s campaign is to see the area’s minor injuries units opened for longer, including seeing the North Cambs Hospital’s MIU opened at weekends.

He said: “This illustrates why it is so important for better health services to be provided in our area. Having both the Doddington and Wisbech MIUs open longer in the evening and the Wisbech one open at weekends would cut out so many unnecessary hospital trips.

“Treating patients at A&E costs more than it does to be seen at an MIU so it would not only be better for patients, who would not have to make lengthy journeys to hospital and the NHS would save money.”

For more information on the “Treat Me Local” campaign visit: www.treatmelocal.net