A NORTON care home owner is backing the Don’t Cut the Care campaign saying cuts to opening hours at Malton Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) will just increase costs elsewhere.

Wendy Marcci, who has run Spring Cottage residential home in Bazley’s Lane for more than 28 years, said the reduction in hours would have a dramatic effect on elderly people.

“The problem is that the unit now closes at 5pm and many older people tend to get tired in the evening which leads to more falls and subsequently cuts to their heads,” she said.

“Previously we could just pop them up to the unit with just one person needed to go with them and very little waiting time.”

Mrs Marcci said they would now have to call an ambulance, which would cost more, and travel to York or Scarborough where they could be waiting for hours.

“This also takes a member of staff away from the home for a substantial length of time, meaning we have to call someone else in,” she said.

“Having a local minor injuries unit is vital – many local families with elderly relatives are going to do the same and call an ambulance which is going to be so much more expensive.”

The reduction in opening hours at the MIU at Malton Hospital took effect from Monday as support continues to grow for our Don’t Cut the Care campaign.

Hundreds of readers have put their names to petitions, both through the Gazette & Herald and in shops and businesses across Ryedale.

A protest march through Malton is planned on Saturday, December 15, starting at the hospital at 10am.

Mrs Marcci said she and residents from the home would be joining the march.

“We shall be there showing our support for this facility. Being situated next door to racing stables also means we see how many accidents there are with stable lads and jockeys falling off horses early in the morning and have had to step in with first aid – where will they be if they can’t pop up to the hospital.”

The NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has said the reduction in opening hours from 8am-9.30pm, seven days a week, to 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, is temporary.

Simon Cox, accountable officer for NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG, said: “While I appreciate this action is unpalatable for many people, it is essential that we take action to reduce costs now in order to preserve valuable NHS services in the future. Given the urgency of the need to reduce costs, we believe this proposal will be an effective short term solution.”

Patients who require treatment of a minor injury or illness when the MIU is closed should phone their GP practice to access either their GP or out of hours GP service, or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for advice.

Add your voice to our campaign to stop cuts to Malton’s Minor Injury Unit

IF you oppose the cuts being made to the opening hours of Malton’s Minor Injuries Unit, make sure your voice is heard by signing our petition.

You can sign here or sign a petition form at one of the following businesses:

Norton: Norton Video Centre, Norton Hardware, Beechams Pharmacy, Goodys, Main Bookmakers, Cutting Room, Stuart Stead’s fruit and veg shop, Tube Ta nning Station, Escape hairdressers, Flix hairdressers, MA Hadfield Saddlers, Corks and Cans, Star Fast Food, The Union, Ryedale Cash Registers, Kevin’s Hairdressers, Trophy and Print, Norton Aquaria, Robsons Motor Services, Tyke petrol station, Derwent Swimming Pool.

Malton: Gazette & Herald, Peter Illingworth, Bulmer’s Desirable Nails, Streekz, Tuis, Hays Travel, Beechams Health Food Shop, Wallis, Hunters, Mark Stephenson, Add & Accessories, Halls Bag Shop, Reeds Rains, Margaret Davies, Andersons, Harrisons and Hargreaves, Aldrich Barbours, Country Classics, The Kingfisher Café, Townend & Co, Number 19.

Pickering: Dales, White Swan, Paddison jewellers, Reeds newsagents, Wrothwell chemists, Moorland newsagents Goodys.

Kirkbymoorside: Victoria Rose Interiors, Penny café, Waind’s butchers, Towler chemist, Thomas the Baker, Nicola Atkinson beauty, Goodys, Kirkby news.

More petition forms are available at the Gazette & Herald’s Malton office.