Graham Stuart has welcomed Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s decision to refer the decision to close the Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) at Hornsea and Withernsea to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP).
The panel, an advisory non-departmental public health body, specialise in reviewing cases involving changes to NHS services.
If they deem the East Riding of Yorkshire CCG’s decision to close the two MIUs to contradict its duty of care, the IRP can make recommendations to the Health Secretary that the decision should be overturned.
In 2016, East Riding of Yorkshire CCG announced their intention to close the MIUs at Hornsea Cottage Hospital and Withernsea Community Hospital.
Under pressure from local opposition, led by Graham Stuart MP, the CCG relented to allow a modicum of minor injury cover at Withernsea, with an extended 8 to 8 service that will cater for one minor injury case per hour.
Despite this, both MIUs at Hornsea and Withernsea are still due to close in their current form. Patients seeking urgent but non-emergency care would now be expected to travel to the new Urgent Care Centre at Beverley’s East Riding Community Hospital.
Following the referral decision, Graham said:
“I am pleased that the Health Secretary has chosen to refer the matter to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel. The IRP will now investigate the grounds for the CCG’s decision to close our two important MIUs at Hornsea and Withernsea. Sir Greg Knight MP and I will be making submissions to the IRP in support of the original case put forward by East Riding Council.”
“The Health Secretary’s decision to refer this case shows that the planned closures are still up for debate, and I am pleased to have helped to press the Health Secretary into this action alongside my colleague Sir Greg Knight MP. The campaign could also not have been possible without the help of local campaigners such as the Hornsea League of Friends, the Withernsea and District Health Forum, and the Holderness Health Alliance.
“Throughout my long-running campaign to save our MIUs, I have experienced the depth and strength of local opposition to the planned closures. I hope the IRP will recognise these views, and recommend to the Health Secretary that the CCG has not fulfilled its duty of care to local patients with these planned closures. It will then be up to the Health Secretary to make a final decision based upon these recommendations.”
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