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Don't Cut The Care campaign: 10,000 sign up to save Minor Injuries Unit at Malton Hospital
2:56pm Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
OUR readers have spoken. More than 10,000 people from across Ryedale have put their name to a petition to retain the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Malton Hospital.
District councillor Lindsay Burr (Lib Dem), a Malton ward member and organiser of the campaign, which is supported by the Gazette & Herald, said she was overwhelmed by the number of people who had joined the fight.
“It’s time for the NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to take notice of Ryedale’s response,” she said.
“They have said Malton Hospital is mainly used by Malton people but this is proven untrue. Our petition shows public support from all over Ryedale, especially Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Pickering areas. People from more than 104 villages and towns have contributed.”
Coun Burr added: “I’m quite overwhelmed by the response. A lot of people have gone to a lot of effort to make their views known.
“Let’s hope the evidence is now looked at and our MIU is kept open and the opening hours are reinstated.”
The campaign to stop further cuts at Malton Hospital was launched in November after it was announced the opening hours of the minor injuries unit were to be reduced from 8am-9.30pm, seven days a week, to just 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
As well as the petition, hundreds of local residents joined the Don’t Cut the Care campaign march last month in support of Malton Hospital.
Dr Michael Lynch, senior partner at Derwent Practice, Malton, said the response to the petition was ‘absolutely fantastic’ and showed how much the MIU was appreciated and how much people wanted the service back to normal.
“This should clarify the issue with the CCG that on this basis the hours need to be reinstated as soon as possible,” he said.
“The temporary closure has caused uncertainty and inconvenience to both patients and staff.”
Dr Lynch said: “It is incredible how many people have signed the petition and it is now time to throw down the gauntlet and challenge the CCG. Let’s get the unit going again.”
The petitions will now be handed over to Simon Cox, acting accountable officer and chief operating officer for the CCG, later this week.
Mr Cox told members of the county council’s Ryedale Area Committee at a meeting last Wednesday that there were a lot of opportunities in the long term for Malton Hospital and the ‘future looks bright’.
He said changes at the hospital could see more rehabilitation of patients and more outpatient services provided there.
Mr Cox added that talks were underway with the Derwent Surgery and the York Foundation Trust to decide how the minor injuries unit should be run in the future.
“We need to await for our financial allocation to decide the opening hours,” he said.
“We want to work closely with the local authorities and we want to look at the best configuration as there appears to have been some duplication of services.”
But he added: “It is not possible to have 24/7 A and E coverage in Malton.”