Fryatt and Clacton hospitals and Colchester Walk-in Centre to keep minor injuries services

The walk-in centre in Colchester is one of three minor injuries units in north-east Essex which has

The walk-in centre in Colchester is one of three minor injuries units in north-east Essex which has been saved from closure. Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL - Credit: GEMMA MITCHELL

Minor injury services in Colchester, Harwich and Clacton will be kept on, it has been revealed.

Clacton Hospital. Picture: NIGE BROWN

Clacton Hospital. Picture: NIGE BROWN - Credit: Archant

The future of the units at the Colchester Walk-in Centre, Clacton Hospital and the Fryatt Hospital, Harwich, had been in doubt as the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEE CCG) carried out a review of the Urgent Care Service.

Earlier this year the CCG committed to the service as a whole, and a centre each in Colchester and Tendring, but did not confirm locations – prompting fears of a single combined unit for Tendring.

Residents in Harwich were particularly concerned about their local unit, following the closure of the maternity unit for births at the Fryatt Hospital, and a protest was held outside the town’s consultation meeting.

But in an update on the Urgent Care Service contained in papers ahead of a meeting of the NEE CCG board on Tuesday, November 28, the Walk-in Centre, Clacton and Fryatt hospitals are confirmed as the preferred locations.

These would become, from April 2019, urgent care centre hubs – offering diagnostic and minor injury services, amongst others – and open for at least 12 hours each day.

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Ivan Henderson, a town, district and county councillor for Harwich, said: “This will be a big relief for those people in Harwich who thought we were going to lose it, and be forced to travel somewhere out of town for treatment.

“I will save my celebrations until we see the full details and the full extent of what the services are going to be, but this is good news.

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“All credit to the residents of Harwich who were shouting loudly about how important this service is.

“This will reduce trips to A&E.”

John Brown, Harwich mayor, added: “I remember when the Fryatt was opened and we were told there was no need to go out of Harwich for medical treatment. The truth has been anything but, so if we can keep this service that is a good thing – it would be nice if we could get some more services back in there.”

Sheila Hammond, secretary of Tendring Pensioners’ Action Group – which had organised a protest march in support of the Clacton minor injuries unit – said: “We don’t know what shape it is going to take at the moment, but we are hoping this is positive step forward and will help people who will not have to travel far.”

Dominic Graham, a Colchester borough councillor who launched a petition to protect the Colchester service, added: “It’s fantastic news, and I am delighted that common sense has prevailed.”

The NEE CCG board meets in public on Tuesday, November 28 from 2.30pm at Long Meadows Community Centre, Dovercourt, CO12 4US.

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