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MP says health bosses agree over localising more NHS services in Fenland




An MP is continuing to push for more health services to be provided in Fenland following a meeting with local NHS bosses.

Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, has been calling for more services and clinics to be hosted at Doddington and the North Cambs Hospitals since first being elected in 2010.

He met with those health service bosses responsible for providing services in this area to discuss what the next steps might be for both the Fenland hospitals.

Steve Barclay outside Doddington Hospital. (47974690)
Steve Barclay outside Doddington Hospital. (47974690)

Following the meeting with Roland Sinker, CEO of Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge; Jan Thomas, CEO of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Commissioning Group and Matthew Winn, the NHS Senior Responsible Owner for Ageing Well, Mr Barclay said he wanted to see more transparency both on the services that could be moved and on plans for better skills and training opportunities for people locally in health jobs.

Mr Barclay said: “In my Treasury role as Chief Secretary, I am overseeing a very significant increase in health spending - with core NHS spending increasing by £33.9 billion next year compared to the start of the five year plan, and an additional £63 billion for Covid last year alone, alongside the recruitment of 50,000 extra nurses.

“It is important that health leaders are more transparent about how they are reforming services, including through the better use of technology, so health treatment is better designed around the local needs of patients.

General view of Doddington Hospital. (47854455)
General view of Doddington Hospital. (47854455)

“I am pleased that all three health bosses agreed that more services could and should be localised, and look forward to working with them in the months ahead on this issue.”

Mr Barclay admitted he was frustrated at the ongoing closure of the minor injuries unit (MIU) at Doddington, which closed last year at the start of the pandemic and has remained that way ever since, and said he has been pushing for it to be reopened as soon as possible.

He said: “I’m concerned that temporary could become permanent but Val Thomas has given me a categoric assurance that ‘no ifs no buts’ the MIU will reopen - but she could not say when that would be.”

On moving more services out of acute hospitals, Mr Barclay said: “I have repeatedly sought information from NHS leaders in our area and whilst we all recognise Covid has brought significant disruption it’s now time for a culture of greater openness and transparency from our NHS managers and set out how reforms can be introduced to deliver more services locally, which are more convenient to constituents and reduce travel and the time involved in attending appointments.”

Mr Barclay wants to see better use of the NHS estate in our area rather than see services becoming increasingly centred within acute hospitals, which he said goes against the current Government policy of bringing NHS services closer to communities.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG have been asked for a comment on a re-opening date for Doddington MIU, but had not responded in time before going to press.



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