Hospital’s 24-hour care centre is safe

THERE is no question of Hinchingbrooke Hospital closing its 24-hour emergency care centre, even though it sometimes treats as few as four patients between 10pm and 7am. But the hospital, which needs to claw back a £6.5million overspend by next April, is l

THERE is no question of Hinchingbrooke Hospital closing its 24-hour emergency care centre, even though it sometimes treats as few as four patients between 10pm and 7am.

But the hospital, which needs to claw back a £6.5million overspend by next April, is looking at more efficient ways of meeting patients' needs at night, said the hospital's chief executive Douglas Pattisson yesterday (Tuesday).

"With an average of 15 patients a night, we don't need to have every speciality standing by just in case they are needed," he said.

"We don't need a full surgical or orthopaedic presence.


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"But people will always be available for emergencies."

The trust board will have a report at its July meeting on better ways of looking after resident and emergency patients at night.

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But Mr Pattisson stressed that plans to make the best use of facilities and improve the way patients were cared for were not motivated by money, even though the changes were running in parallel with cost-saving measures.

"But if improvements also save money, so much the better," he said.

Up to 200 compulsory redundancies at the hospital, revealed in last week's Hunts Post, are likely to happen in two batches.

The first 100 will follow consultations with employees over the next few weeks.

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