Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for North Norfolk, Denise Burke, has called for health officials to consider bringing additional emergency NHS services to the district to tackle the demand from our aging population.
Mrs Burke believes that urgent minor treatment centres at Cromer and North Walsham could provide the key to taking the strain off A&E in Norwich and our struggling ambulance service. These centres would provide treatment for those with urgent but non-life threatening needs.
She also backs Ed Miliband’s call for the government to reinstate a guarantee that would ensure patients could see their GP within 48 hours – something the Labour Party promises to reinstate if elected in May.
Denise Burke says: “I have called on the North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to explore the feasibility of developing 24/7 urgent minor treatment centres at Cromer and North Walsham hospitals to provide medical facilities for those with urgent but non-life-threatening needs.
I believe we need more facilities in North Norfolk to allow residents to be treated nearer to home, mirroring the vision of the Government’s recent Keogh Urgent and Emergency Care review. This would also mean that ambulances and A&E at the Norfolk & Norwich hospital could focus on the most serious and life-threatening cases.
I hope the Clinical Commissioning Group will look seriously at this idea and not follow the knee-jerk opposition from Health Minister Norman Lamb. An online poll following my initial comments suggested the idea was supported by at least 70% of those who voted. This kind of thinking also has the backing of the chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.”
Mrs Burke plans to meet with health officials this Spring to discuss the ideas further.