In her weekly column for the News, Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, talks about delivering more "joined-up, effective and efficient" local medical care services to Ely, Doddington and Wisbech.
"Last week saw the news that Ely is to be trialling a new approach to local urgent medical care services. As with any pilot, we can’t yet know the outcome but what we do know is that our voice has been heard loud and clear and that the raising of local concern over the reduction or closure of Ely Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) has, thanks to the efforts of so many individuals coming together, made a difference.
"Over the summer and autumn months just passed, fears were raised about the potential closure of the Ely MIU. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) went about meeting hundreds of members of the public, local representatives and NHS staff to gather opinion and review the operation of the MIU services.
"The response to these detailed consultations is the announcement that a new scheme, to be known as the ‘local urgent care scheme’ (LUCS) is to be piloted from this Spring. An update on how this model is expected to work is due in February but in principle it is a good first step on the road to maintaining and, what’s more, improving local urgent care services. This proposal to expand and improve rather than reduce or close the MIUs is one which I have been advocating and I am delighted is coming to fruition.
"The aim, according to the CCG is to deliver a more ‘joined-up, effective and efficient local service which in each case, takes into account the rural geography, local deprivation and demography’. The intention is to add GP expertise to the current MIU model which is a nurse only led service. Having GPs on site will broaden the range of patients and conditions which can be seen and treated locally and, consequently, all being well, reduce the strain on A&E departments. The pilot stage will, of course, inform future decisions as to the best way forward.
"I am applauding and embracing this news on many levels. Firstly, there’s no doubt it is great news for our region. Secondly it shows what can happen when we all work together for positive change. A shout out must go to Emma Watson for her unstinting efforts to raise awareness and also to Lis Every and Anna Bailey, all of whom gave so much of their time to this campaign.
"To all the local residents who came out in force to back the campaign, not only with signatures for the petition but also with the brilliant #MIUselfies. The strength of local feeling and the ways in which it was harnessed and presented certainly helped me to make a stronger case when raising the issue in the House of Commons and meeting with health officials at the NHS and CCG both nationally and locally.
"Our ‘joined up’ approach can certainly be something to be proud of. Hopefully the resulting care will likewise be ‘joined up’, as it aspires to be, and something we can all be proud of."
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