Three-week consultation launched on potential changes to Beccles minor injury services
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Residents of Beccles and beyond are being invited to have their say on potential changes to the way minor injury services are delivered in the town.
The consultation follows a petition by Beccles mayor Graham Catchpole, launched after speculation about the future of the minor injuries unit (MIU) at Beccles Hospital, which attracted 2,896 signatures of support.
The petition was presented to Andy Evans, chief executive of the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), ahead of a meeting of its governing body yesterday.
There it was agreed that a three-week engagement exercise should be launched, starting today and running until 10am on October 21, for local people to share their views on the service.
The survey is asking for views on proposals to provide a weekday minor injury service on the Beccles Hospital site, potentially at Beccles Medical Centre, rather than from the current minor injuries unit in the hospital. At weekends and bank holidays, patients would 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 the hospital wherever appropriate.
It comes in the light of draft national guidance, which says that all MIUs and GP-led health centres should be renamed 'urgent care centres' and will be required to meet a set of minimum standards. These include opening for 16 hours a day and having an x-ray machine, which Beccles does not have.
Mr Evans said: 'We recognise how important the minor injuries service is to local people, and are committed to ensuring patients can continue to access the care they need locally.
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'The proposal won't mean a major change for our patients, who will still receive a minor injuries service from the same site. We are now asking people how this change would affect them so that we can take their views into account when a final decision is made.
'It is important to stress that Beccles Hospital will continue to function as normal, once the current refurbishment works are complete.
'The phlebotomy service will also remain available at Beccles Hospital, although it will be run by a different provider.'
The survey is available at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Beccles_MIU_Survey_NHSGYWCCG/, with hard copies in the MIU and Beccles Medical Surgery.
Feedback will be discussed at the CCG's next meeting in October, when a final decision will be made.