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IF YOU DON’T WANT TO LOSE HOSPITAL ‘CASUALTY’ please sign here

Malton Hospital. Picture by Andrew Higgins 123035d

Malton Hospital. Picture by Andrew Higgins 123035d

AN AXE is hovering over Malton Hospital’s Casualty as proposals to cut hours at the Minor Injury Unit are leaked.

If the move goes ahead the Minor Injury Unit will no longer operate seven days a week as it does now, but will instead be open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday – and closed on weekends.

The plans have been proposed by the NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commission Group as it looks to help the Primary Care Trust tackle a predicted year end deficit of £19 million.

However the proposals have been met with outrage and shock after staff were informed of the plans earlier this week.

Speaking after being contacted by upset nurses, Ryedale District Cllr Lindsay Burr MBE said if it goes ahead, weekend closures will be “devastating”.

She is now launching a campaign, supported by the Malton and Pickering Mercury, to save the Minor Injury Unit.

Cllr Burr said: “I am shocked and disappointed. The unit is vital to all Ryedale residents and looks after children, adults and the elderly alike, and the reduced hours will have a massive negative impact.

“As we all know travelling on the A64 either way to Scarborough or York is not ideal especially when someone is ill.”

According to Cllr Burr the Malton Minor Injury Unit looked after more than 900 patients in just three months over weekend hours.

The Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group was due to meet last night to discuss the plans, which it says are only a “short term” move.

Simon Cox, chief operating officer for the Clinical Commissioning Group said: “As many people will already know, the NHS in North Yorkshire and York is facing significant financial challenges and the Primary Care Trust is predicting a year end deficit of £19 million.

“In order to help prevent the Trust’s deficit from increasing further, we and other Clinical Commissioning Groups in the area are working together to identity a range of short term measures. One of these is to review the opening times of minor injuries units.

“Statistics show that during weekdays the majority of patients access the unit at Malton between 9am and 5pm.

“For patients requiring services outside of these hours and during weekends there are alternative services available, such as the GP out of hours service. Patients can get more information about the choices available to them from NHS Direct.

“We are currently in talks with the provider of the minor injuries unit in Malton, York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to agree an appropriate course of action.

“It is important to state that any action we take will be short term and only apply to the end of this financial year - April 2013.”

However Cllr Burr fears that by introducing it as a ‘temporary measure’ no consultation will need to take place and the propals can easily be implemented quickly.

She said: “This is being introduced through the back door.

“We need to stand up for staff and patients and save our unit. We need to say no to Malton’s Minor Injury Unit’s Reduced Hours.”

If the unit is cut, the loss of status and skills could lead to an eventual reduction in other aspects of the hospital, it is feared.

Please print the form below and return to: Malton and Pickering Hospital Petition, 17 Kingsmill, Sheepfoot Hill, Malton, Y017 7DS.

Or email andrew.pitt@yrnltd.co.uk

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I want our hospital to be kept for our community

I wish to express my dismay and opposition to the possible closure or reduction of the injuries unit at Malton Hospital.

Name ..............................................................

Address ..............................................................

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Postcode ...........................................

Signature ..........................................

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