Clinic at Saffron Walden Hospital to shut

Saffron Walden Community Hospital

Saffron Walden Community Hospital - Credit: Archant

A community clinic has been shut down in Saffron Walden forcing patients to travel to Cambridge for treatment.

And the Ear, Nose and Throat clinic at Saffron Walden Hospital’s Radwinter Road site has closed earlier than planned, meaning many patients are receiving last-minute notification or facing cancellation of their appointment.

Changes in the clinician’s schedule has meant that the service was to move to Addenbrooke’s Hospital on November 5, but workforce constraints have forced Cambridge and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group to move the clinic to Cambridge with immediate effect.

Norman Viney, from Victoria Avenue in Saffron Walden, found out about the changes on Friday (October 16) when his 92-year-old mother in law attended her ear appointment.

“She went to the ear clinic in her wheelchair only to be told that the clinic is closing and she will now have to go to Addenbrooke’s,” he said.

“So all these people now have to go there, try and find somewhere to park – and all this put onto a hospital that’s already under pressure because of the amount of people it has to deal with from a large area.

“Plus older people do not want to be at Cambridge all day waiting for transport to take them home.”

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Although located at Saffron Walden Hospital, which is operated by South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT), the contract for the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic is run by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – the organisation responsible for planning, organising and purchasing NHS funded healthcare for people living in Cambridgeshire.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which includes Addenbrooke’s Hospital, is one of the CCG’s main providers.

Adrian Ient, senior media relations manager at the CCG, said of the Saffron Walden ENT clinic: “We are relocating this clinic to Addenbrooke’s due to changes to the clinician’s schedule.

“Patients who were booked at Saffron Walden are being contacted by phone to ask if they would like to attend Addenbrooke’s.

“Those who were due to be booked at Saffron Walden are also being contacted by phone. We are doing this alongside booking other patients appointments for the whole of ENT.”

Both SEPT and the CCG have given reassurances that no other clinics or services at Saffron Walden hospital are to be affected or closed at this time.