Anger over continued closure of X-ray service

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AN MP has voiced anger at the continued closure of an X-ray department at an East Coast hospital which is forcing patients to make 40-mile round trips for treatment.

The department at Withernsea hospital closed last June for the new digital equipment to be installed, but eight months later remains closed, despite assurances that it would be opening well before Christmas. The local health forum said the continuing delay was “unacceptable”.

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart said: “A number of constituents wrote to me about the prolonged closure of the X-ray department last year. In September I wrote to the East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to ask why the installation of the new equipment was being delayed. The CCG wrote back to say that there had been some issues with the installation that had been resolved and it expected the unit to be accepting patients again by December 1.

“Clearly this did not happen and I have written again to find out why. It is not acceptable this equipment is lying idle in Withernsea while people are being forced to travel to Hull or Hornsea to access X-ray services.”

Marion Mead, chair of the Withernsea & District Health Forum, said: “We are very disappointed that, despite numerous assurances, Withernsea Hospital still does not have a functioning X-ray department nor a firm date for its re-opening. The people of Withernsea should not have to travel vast distances for a service which should be readily available at our own hospital.”

The CCG apologised but was yesterday unable to give a date for the reopening, saying it would be “in the near future.”

Karen Ellis, from the CCG, said one of the problems had been last year’s changes in the NHS, including a change in the hospital’s ownership and the X-ray provider transferring to Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. The supplier had also not reacted as quickly as they would have wanted. However she said: “We have been pushing it all the way.”