Last September in our Labour Voice news-sheet we flagged concerns about the future of outpatient services at the Princess of Wales Hospital. It now seems that these fears were justified. The Cambridge and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group have, rather quietly, issued a news release revealing a potential closure of the clinics.
In summary, it reveals that they have not yet found an alternative provider to run the outpatient services following the withdrawal of Cambridge Community Services NHS Trust and that it is likely that instead patients will need to travel to Addenbrookes.
Much could (and needs to be said) about the shortage of resources for the NHS in the area and the damage done by the Coalition government’s NHS reorganisation but there are four immediate questions for the Clinical Commissioning Group:
- Ely is on the verge of major growth. Health services are already under strain. How can reducing services further be justified?
- Addenbrookes is a hospital under pressure, what is the impact of adding more outpatients?
- The Princess of Wales Hospital is a well equipped but underused resource that bit by bit has been allowed to decline. How will outpatient closure affect other services based provided?
- How have you reached this decision? – communicate the details, explain the options you have considered.