Beccles doctor says new minor injuries system will add pressure to surgery

Beccles Health Campus, where the hospital and medical practice is located. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Beccles Health Campus, where the hospital and medical practice is located. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A doctor said advice was ignored after a decision was made to send patients for treatment with minor injuries to the practice he works at.

Last week it was reported that patients seeking treatment for minor injuries will be sent to Beccles Medical Practice from February 6.

It came following a decision to close the dedicated Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Beccles Hospital.

The practice has been commissioned to provide a minor injuries service for registered patients and temporary residents.

Dr Tim Morton said: 'We had as much chance as everybody else to give our views and ultimately the advice we gave for the consultation was ignored.

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'We are disappointed with the decision. We will try as a practice to see people with minor injuries that are registered patients.

'But given the pressure on the work force and facilities we envisage this will be a challenge going forward.

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'We will try our best to maintain the good quality of service for our patients and we will be consulting regularly with the CCG on how things are going.'

The decision was made to close the MIU in December by Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group's governing body.

They said the MIU no longer met the standards required for minor injury units and that a review of the service showed usage was generally low.

Anthony Bubb, chairman of Beccles Hospital's League of Friends, said: 'I still feel it is a pity that the hospital unit is closing down as it offered a good service.

'However they have made the decision and that is what is going to happen. I don't know how the medical practice will cope. I am sure they will find a way but it won't be as good.

'It will be restricted as people from other medical practices will have to go elsewhere.'

The CCG has said there are currently no plans for the space that will be left at the hospital when the MIU closes.

Cath Byford, director of commissioning and quality with the CCG, said: 'The change brings services across our area in line, and means every patient will be able to access care for minor injuries at their own GP surgery. At weekends and bank holidays, patients will be able to get advice and support from the 111 service, as well as onward referral for face-to-face consultations to the out-of-hours clinic at Beccles Hospital wherever appropriate.'

Until the changes start, East Coast Community Healthcare will continue to run the unit from the hospital.

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