Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, has today vowed to continue his campaign to save the community beds and Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) in Holderness, after the City Health Care Partnership announced that new admissions to the community beds at Withernsea Community Hospital will stop with immediate effect.
The twelve community beds, which cater for a range of patients including those in palliative and rehabilitative care, will no longer accept new patients after this latest blow to local residents.
The City Health Care Partnership have put the decision down to staff shortages and its commitment to maintain its basic duty of care to patients on a safe and sustainable basis. The decision has been backed by NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which in March 2017 announced its separate decision to close the Urgent Care centres in Withernsea and Hornsea.
Graham Stuart has been a vocal opponent of the planned closures, leading a number of public demonstrations and petitions in which local opposition to the CCG’s decision was widely displayed. Indeed, a survey conducted by the CCG itself found that 90% of those asked in Holderness were opposed to travelling further to access Urgent Care.
Along with East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight, Graham has continued to fight the CCG’s decision. Most recently, he met with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is considering whether to refer the CCG’s decision to the Independent Configuration Panel.
Following today’s announcement about the Withernsea Community Hospital beds, Graham said: “I’m extremely disappointed but not surprised at this news. The clinicians who decide how our local NHS is run said that they wanted to close the beds in Withernsea and staff have understandably taken the hint and moved elsewhere.
“Like the people of Holderness I want this unit to be maintained. That’s why so many of us have campaigned so hard for so long against the Urgent Care Strategy. It’s right that decisions in the NHS should be made locally by a clinically led body. I don’t dispute that. But it’s also right that they should be scrutinised independently when local people do not agree.
“That’s why Sir Greg Knight and I called for the Strategy to be referred to the Secretary of State and the Independent Reconfiguration Panel. Things look pretty bleak today but if the Panel finds against the CCG and orders them back to the drawing board then we will have the chance to argue for something which works as well in Holderness as it does in Goole.
“I’m assured the small number of patients still in Withernsea Hospital will be well looked after and will not be moved out until it is right for them. After the last one of them is discharged then we will need to wait for the Independent Reconfiguration Panel to make its decision. ”