Hub hope for Fenland minor injury units

North Cambs Hospital Wisbech
North Cambs Hospital Wisbech

A pilot project to turn Fenland’s minor injury units (MIU) into health service hubs is set to be launched this spring.

The announcement follows months of uncertainty about the future of the units at the North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech and the Doddington Hospital.

North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay said health chiefs had listened to the views of local people and thanked everyone who attended a series of public meetings last summer on the issue.

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

Under the proposals, work will take place to turn the two Fenland units, plus a similar facility in Ely into local urgent care service (LUCS) hubs.

The initial phase will see GP provision added to the existing nurse practitioner teams working at the units and aims to expand the range of care services offered there.

Officials from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough clinical commissioning group (CCG), say they believe that will also improve links between MIU staff and the out of hours GP service and could help to reduce the numbers going to hospital accident and emergency departments at weekends.

The CCG’s latest update on the units, released on Monday, said it could potentially commission all three hubs on a longer-term basis in the spring of next year, depending on the success of the pilot project.

If that happens, they expect the new units to open in 2020 or 2021.

The group added: “We have identified significant opportunities to deliver more joined-up, effective, and efficient local urgent primary care services which take into account the rural geography, local deprivation and demography.”

Mr Barclay said his office and CCG officials had done “tireless work” on the issue.

He added that the hub idea had been successfully adopted in other parts of the country and would address the CCG’s concerns over the future financing of local health services.