Hospital clinics to be maintained despite health care changes

Royston Hospital faces an emergency closure

Royston Hospital faces an emergency closure - Credit: Archant

ALL existing hospital clinics in Crow country will be maintained when a new commissioning group takes over health provision in the area.

The Cambridgeshire Association to Commission Health (CATCH) will be responsible for health services in Royston and the surrounding villages from April.

Royston MP Oliver Heald was joined by county councillors Fiona Hill and Tony Hunter at a meeting with Dr Geraldine Linehan, chairman of CATCH, and her colleague Tom Dutton, where they discussed the future of health care in Royston.

The proposed closure of Royston Hospital, which is set to be sold and turned into a private care home with intermediate beds, has left doubt surrounding the future of clinics currently provided there.

Mr Heald said: “This was a very constructive meeting and it was good to know that Royston is an important town in the CATCH area and

“I am hopeful that it will be possible to bring improved hospital clinic services to the town.”

At the meeting CATCH confirmed that all existing hospital clinic services will continue, while there was also a discussion about how much health capacity would be needed in the future and the siting of services within the town.

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Royston Health Centre is being upgraded this year, and will accommodate some of the services currently provided by the hospital.

“I was pleased that CATCH is so willing to engage with patients and community representatives,” said Mr Heald.

The hospital site was put up for sale in December, despite more than 5,000 people signing a petition demanding that it remain open.

As reported in the Crow last week, Royston Town Council decided against nominating it as a community asset under the Localism Act, a move which may have prevented the land, on London Road, falling into the hands of private developers in the future.