Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Malton Hospital minor injuries unit poised for weekend reopening
MALTON Hospital’s minor injuries unit (MIU) may reopen at weekends but remain closed in the evenings.
The CCG is now proposing to maintain the evening closure but open the unit at weekends. It may also have more GP-led services in the mornings and a specialist nurse-led service in the afternoons, which the group said would help make the necessary savings while “responding to the needs of patients”.
A review of the unit has shown that, before its hours were reduced, it was mainly used during the day and only six patients on average used it after 6pm.
It was also found that during a four-month period, the reduced hours will save approximately £100,000, while there had been no measurable increase in the use of other health services, such as A&E and ambulance services, as a result of patients not being able to access the MIU.
Simon Cox, accountable officer for the CCG, said: “We feel this proposal responds to the concerns raised by local residents while still helping our CCG to make essential cost savings.
“The feedback from patients has largely focused on the closure of the MIU at weekends. Coupled with our evidence that the MIU is well used during the day at weekends, we feel it is important that we look at ways to reinstate the service at these times.
“We are proposing to hold a four-week engagement period for patients to tell us what they think of this proposal. This will involve a survey and a number of drop-in events to give people the opportunity to speak with us about our plans.”
Mr Cox said that if the CCG governing body agrees in principal to the proposal, the four-week engagement period will launch on Monday.
A petition, signed by more than 10,000 people, was handed to Mr Cox, earlier this month as part of a campaign to reinstate opening hours at the MIU at Malton Hospital.
The campaign, backed by the Gazette & Herald, was launched in November after it was announced the opening hours of the MIU were to be reduced from 8am to 9.30pm, seven days a week, to just 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
District councillor Lindsay Burr (Lib Dem), a Malton ward member and organiser of the campaign, said she was pleased the CCG had listened to the thousands of people who had shown their support for Malton Hospital.
“The decision is now in their hands and I am pleased they are proposing to reopen the unit at weekends which is essential with such a busy local sporting community in addition to the many business and factories that operate seven days a week,” she said.
“The engagement period will also provide Ryedale residents with the opportunity to make their views known directly to the CCG.”