Patients who aren't registered at Oakham Medical Practice could be refused treatment at the minor injuries unit at Rutland Memorial Hospital from next month because of concerns over a proposed new contract from the East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group
Rutland’s minor injuries unit could be forced to turn away patients who are not registered at Oakham Medical Practice.
The service is currently open to anyone and offers treatment for injuries like sprains, cuts, bruises and minor burns at the Rutland Memorial Hospital site in Oakham.
It is run by nursing staff from the surgery but managers fear a proposed change in their contract with the East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group will leave them short of cash.
They are concerned the knock-on effect means that only patients registered at Oakham Medical Practice would be able to access the service from next month.
Commuters, visitors and residents living outside of Oakham would be forced to travel further afield for treatment.
Practice manager Ian Razzell and his colleagues are desperate to find a solution.
He said: “The money the CCG is offering could be as bad as 50 per cent less than we received the previous year. If the CCG is unable to negotiate with us and fund the service to the same level as last year, from June 1 the only patients we will be able to see at the minor injuries unit will be those who are registered.
“None of this is where we want to be.
“We have got good nurses offering a superb service and if we don’t fund this, patients will go to A&E instead and the costs will go through the roof.”
The minor injuries unit is open on weekdays from 9am until 6pm. Last year 2,700 patients were treated there.
The CCG has agreed to meet with practice managers next week to discuss the contract. If no agreement is reached, the surgery says the changes will come into force on June 1.
A CCG spokesman said: “We would like to assure patients that the minor injury unit remains fully functional and patients can expect to be treated.
“Conversations are ongoing with Oakham Medical Practice but to re-assure the public, the CCG will ensure that a service will continue to be available to any patient who attends the minor injury unit at Rutland Memorial Hospital.
“Oakham Medical Practice and the CCG remain committed to ensuring high quality services that continue to meet the needs of all patients.”
Mr Razzell has assured patients that whatever the outcome, staff jobs will be safe and the urgent care centre which provides out of hours appointments will not be affected.