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Gazette & Herald's Don't Cut The Care campaign forces re-think on MIU at Malton Hospital
VICTORY has been declared for the people of Ryedale after a campaign, backed by the Gazette & Herald, persuaded health chiefs to review plans to reduce opening hours at Malton Hospital’s minor injuries unit (MIU).
Last week the findings of a report were accepted by the NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) along with a proposal for how the opening hours of the MIU could be changed to meet the needs of local patients.
The Governing Body agreed to this proposal being taken out for public comment and has asked for a report to be presented back at the end of April to inform a final decision about the opening hours of the MIU.
The proposed new model for the MIU would see the opening hours reinstated at weekends between 9am and 5pm, but remain closed in the evenings seven days a week when fewer patients access it.
Staffing of the MIU would also change, with local GPs taking responsibility for providing the service on weekdays 9am-1pm, followed by specialist nurses, 1pm-6pm.
District councillor Lindsay Burr (Lib Dem), a Malton ward member and organiser of the campaign, said it was a victory for common sense and people power and it was gratifying to learn from the report that all the protests and petitions had put pressure on the board to rethink.
“Residents were right to fight for this valuable service. We heard at the meeting that the reason for a rethink was due to the campaign led by myself and supported by local GPs and the Gazette & Herald.
“More than 10,000 people supported the campaign and 600 joined the march in December. The decision to re-think clearly came from the overwhelming evidence provided and people power. Residents also gave the CCG their opinions.”
Coun Burr said she was delighted with the decision turn and looked forward to the reopening of the MIU at weekends.
“This is great news. However, we still need to keep the pressure up so our unit is never put under this kind of threat again.
“We need to work with the CCG and improve and expand Malton Hospital not reduce services at our hospital. We must never let our hospital be under threat again.”
Dr Michael Lynch, senior partner at Derwent Surgery, said he felt a positive compromise had been reached.
“It is difficult to argue with the relatively small number of people who use the unit during the evening and although an agreement has to be reached on how it will be staffed, I feel the mood can be positive,” he said.
“Thanks to the action of Coun Burr, the Gazette & Herald and local people, the CCG has listened to public opinion which I feel they must be given credit for. I hope residents will now go along to the consultation events and see what is being proposed so we can get the MIU back and vibrant again.”
Simon Cox, accountable officer for the CCG, said: “Our governing bodyhas now given the go-ahead to share this proposal with local stakeholders and residents to get their views.
He said: “This will take place over a four-week period commencing with the launch of an online survey this week.
“Paper copies will be made available at a series of drop-in events to be held across Ryedale in the second two weeks of March.
“I feel our proposal to re-open the MIU at weekends is a positive move and responds to the issues raised by local residents over the last couple of months.
“I hope that as many people as possible complete the survey and attend the events so that we can ensure the MIU is able to meet the needs of local patients.”
The public events, which are open to everyone, will be held as follows:
Monday, March 18 Malton and Norton Rugby Club, 6.30pm-8.30pm
Wednesday, March 20 Kirkbymoorside Library, 10am-noon
Friday, March 22 Helmsley Library, 10am-noon
Saturday, March 23 Norton Library, 10am-noon, Malton Library, noon-2pm
Monday, March 25 Pickering Library, noon-2pm
The first event in Malton will include a short presentation of the new model followed by the opportunity for members of the public to speak on a one-to-one basis with the CCG representatives.
All other events are drop-in events where members of the public can speak face-to-face with CCG colleagues about the proposals.
Anyone wishing to complete the survey online can do so at www.scarboroughryedaleccg.nhs.uk