If reports in the local media are true, then it looks as if the residents of South Fenland have another ‘war’ on our hands over services at Doddington Hospital. It can be won, but it needs the public’s support.
This takes me back to April 2003/4 when we heard muttering of a possible closure of Doddington Community Hospital.
William Hill and myself formed an action group to fight to keep our hospital; IPPIF – The Independent Patients Public Involvement Forum .
The 2004-2012 campaign was to get intermediate care beds re-instated at Doddington and to bring health care closer to home; this we eventually achieved. I admit it took several trips to the House Of Commons; including a 48-seater coach to a big CHANT (Community Hospitals Acting Nationally Together) rally; also putting our case to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. The hospital has been a great success, everyone I have spoken to since we got the job done has been very pleased with everything at Doddington – “If it is working then leave it alone”.
The closure of Doddington Hospital would condemn South Fenland people to travel, on average, 35-mile round trips to see a consultant or get treatment. Closure of these facilities is not an option – it would leave about 70,000 South Fenland people a minimum of 15 miles away from a hospital bed.
People do not want to be travelling all over Cambridgeshire to see consultants when they have been able to see them at Doddington.
Remember all of the changes the people wanted in 2008 came with the blessing of Prof George Alberti, the then head of NCAT (National Clinical Advisory Team). I urge everyone to write to the Citizen and condemn any action to take our much-needed health care miles away from where we live.
Give us back the NHS
I welcome Mr Barclay’s commitment (Citizen, May 11) to fight for outpatient facilities to remain at Doddington Hospital. However, I won’t be holding my breath that he can have any more influence on the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) than us ordinary citizens.
It was the government that he supports that handed over our National Health Service to this unelected, unaccountable, quango in the 2012 Act and removed the Secretary of State’s responsibility for the NHS.
Mr Barclay should not therefore be surprised he has no more success in getting answers than any other citizen.
We are also in this mess because the CCG decided it would put services out to tender. We have seen how the first attempt collapsed within eight months, wasting over £10bn.
It also undermined the Community Services Trust, which ran the North Cambs and Doddington Hospitals, by transferring most of their staff to “another employer” (ie another NHS Trust).
Now we are told they hope to find another organisation to run Doddington. There used to be one – it was called the National Health Service. The NHS is now just a logo for a range of different private and semi-private organisations. If we really want to save local hospitals like Doddington we need to demand our National Health Service back.
st peter’s gardens
Going for gold again
Water in the pond in St Peter’s Gardens, Wisbech, has been seeping away and the base of the pond needed to be resealed.
Richard Moore, working for R J Warren, carried out the work, removing the fish to a safe haven and collecting the coins ‘thrown’ in for good luck.
He removed a total of £75, which has been donated to Wisbech Round Table and the Children’s Home Charities. The fish have been returned with the addition of some water plants. So the pond and fountain can be enjoyed by all again.
During the past two or three weeks the gardens have looked magnificent. Readers will recall that St Peter’s Gardens were awarded Gold in Anglia in Bloom in 2015 and we look forward to another wonderful display this summer.
Chairman, Friends of St Peter’s Gardens.
Keep to paths
Re ‘Too much tax to spend’, Readers’ Views, May 4.
No new path was constructed in Wisbech Park. There were two paths in need of re-surfacing. Due to the expense of re-surfacing it was decided to take one out and re-surface the other – saving taxpayers’ money.
The Park paths connect entrance to entrance. I encourage everyone to use them, rather than make their own path, ruining the grass to save at best a minute of their time.
Friends of Wisbech Park.