MP welcomes announcement that A&E and maternity services will remain at Hinchingbrooke Hospital
- Credit: Archant
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has welcomed an announcement that Hinchingbrooke Hospital will retain its A&E department and maternity services under a proposed merger deal with Peterborough.
The publication last week of a Fit for the Future programme, which sets out health provision and funding across Cambridgeshire for the next five years, has gone some way to appease Mr Djanogly who feared vital services would be moved to the larger hospital.
The Fit for the Future document was developed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and stems from its Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).
Mr Djanogly said he felt the decision to keep emergency care and maternity services in Huntingdon reflected the views and concerns of local people.
“My campaign has very much focused on doing everything we can to ensure that services are protected and strengthened at Hinchingbrooke,” he told The Hunts Post.
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“Hundreds of people marching through Huntingdon has shown the strength of feeling on this issue, and in presenting a petition of 6,500 people to 10 Downing Street I made the case for our hospital at the very highest levels of government. I am therefore delighted that the CCG has listened to local concerns and is committed to protecting these two vital services.”
The CCG’s new chief officer, Tracy Dowling, said the Fit for the Future plan had been developed with the aim of encouraging people to take more responsibility for their own health.
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“Our local NHS and local government officers, through discussion with our staff, patients, carers and partners, have developed a plan to keep the population fit for the future and to take joint responsibility for improving our population’s health and wellbeing.
The Hunts Post asked the CCG to confirm that the A&E department would not be downgraded to a minor injuries unit or walk-in centre under the merger and received this reply: “A&E will remain at Hinchingbrooke seeing minor injuries and major cases.”
The campaign group Hands of Hinchingbrooke, which has launched a new petition to protect services, has said it will continue its fight.
Chairman, Lorna Mansbridge, said: “The NHS is facing unprecedented attacks by means of mergers and also the STP. These are very difficult and challenging times, but we must stand together as a community so that vital services such as children services, and other departments that could be centralised, are not downgraded or lost altogether.”
INFO: Members of the public can attend the Hinchingbrooke board meeting on July 28 when the merger will be discussed at 11.30am.
The chief executives of both hospitals will attend a public event on August 10, from 2pm till 5.30pm.
To sign the Hands off Hinchingbrooke campaign, go to: www.you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-hinchingbrooke-hospital.