"Our position is that patients should be able to access the Peterborough Centre for out of hours services - as they do now. The details of our of hours services for Whittlesey and Yaxley are being discussed."
The issue was raised again at the neighbourhood forum in Whittlesey last week, so today I had a conversation with the Practice Manager at New Queen Street Surgery. I am now concerned that we may indeed be headed towards this change. In fact they have been contacted about changing their our of hours forwarding on their telephone system and have refused to do so.
We are well served out of hours by Peterborough - I have used the service a few times. It is accessible, including by public transport over the weekend, and it is not difficult for their doctors to get out to Whittlesey if they need to. Compare that to the route to Doddington, which is one that many people would be uncomfortable driving along in the dead of night - and it is much further.
What also happens if, as a result of a trip to the out of hours service a patient is hospitalised? It would mean a trip from Whittlesey to Doddington for the consultation and then back to Peterborough.
I also understand Yaxley residents are affected in that they could be asked to travel to Huntingdon, in fact if the change happens it will possibly affect 40,000 people.
I am now actively dealing with this issue - I have contacted Andrew Lansley MP who is both the Secretary of State for Health and a Cambridgeshire MP and made my views known to him - which are that this change is not acceptable.
Queen Street Surgery also have a petition running can I please advise you all to pop in and sign it - whether you are a user of that surgery or not.
I am trying to contact the PCT as I type, but just in case they choose to read this blog post - let's just make it plain:
An out of hours service from Doddington is not acceptable for Whittlesey residents