HORNSEA’S hospital is testament to the community that built it nearly a century ago. It was paid for by local people in the aftermath of the First World War and over the intervening years it has, like small hospitals around the country, treated countless patients.
Today, the hospital remains at the heart of the community it serves. But for how much longer? It is home to one of three minor injuries units (MIUs), along with those in Withernsea and Driffield, that are facing closure under plans drawn up by East Riding NHS bosses.
Officials say the units are unsustainable because there simply aren’t enough patients. But campaigners, led by Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart, argue they provide a vital local service and if they are relocated will force people to travel further afield in order to seek treatment.
This is part of a wider issue affecting some of Yorkshire’s most remote communities amid concerns that value for money is superseding the needs of some patients.
The crux of the problem is the huge financial black hole facing the NHS. With ambulance services under growing pressure and at a time of staff shortages and budget constraints something has to give.
NHS Trusts face mounting financial pressure and tough decisions need to be made. At the same time, while the government cannot simply hand over a blank cheque it must ensure that our hospitals are given the necessary resources.
If our National Health Service is to continue to fulfil its remit then it must be a service for everyone in this country, no matter where they happen to live.