Campaign Ballot Outstrips Formal Consultation Response

A ballot organised by the Save Newark Hospital Campaign has gained a staggering 131 responses in just four hours – all wanting the A&E function to be retained. It took NHS Nottinghamshire County six months to gain just 263 responses to its public consultation.

NHS Nottinghamshire County’s Board is due to make its decision over the future of Newark Hospital’s A&E at lunchtime (Thursday 17th June). It’s widely expected that the Board will decide on an ‘Urgent Care Centre’.

Commenting Save Newark Hospital’s Campaign Chair, Dr Ian Campbell said:

‘The whole consultation process has been a complete sham. It was clear NHS Nottinghamshire County were never going to listen to what the people of Newark and its villages wanted. The proposed Urgent Care Centre is a Minor Injuries Unit in all but name and clearly not what the people want, or need. It’s the thin end of the wedge for Newark Hospital.’

Editors Notes

Background

Options for A&E

Option 1: Minor Injuries Unit ‘Plus’ 24/7 – a minor injuries unit (MIU) staffed by doctors and specially trained nurses to treat people with minor injuries such as broken bones and minor illnesses. There would be access to x-ray and other testing equipment. A direct online link to other centres would allow the results to be read by experts who would give immediate advice if necessary. An out of hours GP service would also be available. This service would treat 85% of patients with the other 15% taken directly to another hospital by ambulance.

Option 2: Minor Injuries Unit ‘Plus’ 7am-midnight – this would be the same as Option 1, but only open between 7am and midnight, with out-of-hours GP cover enhanced.

Options for the Friary Ward

Option 1: Close Friary Ward permanently and use existing in-patient assessment beds at Ashfield Community Hospital, Lincoln or Grantham.

Option 2: Close Friary Ward permanently and transfer challenging behaviour beds to Ashfield Community Hospital and develop a small ‘step-down’ unit in Newark.

Both options would include providing NHS day services at Byron House, Newark, and developing community services to enable more people to be supported at home longer.

The Missing ‘Option 3’: Return Newark Hospital to a fully operational Emergency Care Centre where an integrated emergency service will provide comprehensive care to all but the most seriously ill, or those requiring immediate and direct access to specialist centres, far in excess of the 85% of potential patients currently proposed by NHS Nottinghamshire County (discussed in detail within this document)

Friary Ward should be re-opened to provide a healthcare for the elderly unit or as a fourth general medical ward. This could provide an additional 15 beds. Byron House should provide NHS day services and a further development of the community services that would enable more people to be supported at home