Labour Councillors from across the north of the city have reacted to the news that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group will start a public consultation on 23rd January about the possible closure of the Chesterton Out of Hours service in Union Lane, Chesterton and its relocation to the Addenbrookes site in Queen Ediths.
Councillor Gerri Bird, who represents East Chesterton on the City Council said: "This news is a real shock. At a time when our local GP services are under intense pressure, people needing out of hours care in the north of the City may now face long journeys to somewhere on the large Addenbrookes site on the other side of the City. I am very concerned about the impact of this proposed change on the health care and needs of what are some of the most deprived wards in Cambridge, like East Chesterton and Kings Hedges, as well our well established traveller community in East Chesterton."
Councillor Jocelynne Scutt, West Chesterton's Labour County Councillor, said: "Someone who is feeling unwell and needs to see a GP shouldn't have to face the prospect of a long bus journey across the City to an out of hours service at Addenbrookes, and there is no guarantee bus services will even be running when they need to get there. Addenbrookes also charge for parking on their site and taxi journeys there would be expensive. The CCG need to think again about the interests of people living in the north of Cambridge. If this proposal goes through it may also mean that more people decide to use Addenbrookes A&E instead as their first option."
Two residents, Elisa Meschini and Kelley Green, are launching a petition together with local councillors, to oppose the plans. Kelley Green said: " We want to ensure that residents across the north of the city are aware of these plans and make sure that the CCG realise how vital it is to keep this service local and easily accessible for those who need to use it."