Minor injuries services to be delivered from Beccles surgery following hospital unit closure
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Patients seeking treatment for minor injuries will be sent to Beccles Medical Practice from next month following a decision to close the dedicated unit at the town's hospital.
The practice has been commissioned to provide a minor injuries service for registered patients and temporary residents from Monday, February 6.
It follows a decision made in December by Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) governing body to close the minor injuries unit (MIU) at Beccles Hospital and change the way the service is delivered. They said the MIU no longer met the standards required for minor injuries units, and that a review of the service showed usage was generally low.
However a petition started my Beccles mayor Graham Catchpole against the changes attracted 3,000 signatures from local residents.
And of the 477 responses the CCG received to a three-week engagement exercise on the proposal, 158 people raised concerns about the restricted hours that the service would be available and 90 people said that the added pressure of the MIU in the surgery would diminish the level of the service the GPs currently offered.
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Until the change comes into effect, East Coast Community Healthcare will continue to run the existing MIU from the hospital.
The new service will then operate from the surgery during its core hours. During weekends, evenings and bank holidays, people will be able to call NHS 111 for help and advice, with anyone who needs a face-to-face consultation then invited to an appointment at the out-of-hours clinic at Beccles Hospital or advised to attend a more appropriate service.
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The CCG said the change would bring the service provided in Beccles in line with the rest of the area, where patients receive care for minor injuries at their own GP surgery.
Cath Byford, director of commissioning and quality with the CCG, said: 'We recognise how important a minor injuries service is to local people, and are pleased that an agreement has been reached which means that patients will continue to access the care they need close to home.
'A review carried out last year showed that use of Beccles MIU is generally low. As such, we believe the new agreement with Beccles Medical Practice will provide better value for money while ensuring that patients continue to receive the same high quality service.'