Following the announcement by East Riding Clinical Commissioning Group in March 2017 that it planned to close the Minor Injuries Units in Hornsea and Withernsea, Graham took his fight to keep local minor injury services open right to the very top.
Graham wrote to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to drive home the extent of local concerns over the future of healthcare in the area. These actions convinced the Health Secretary and his advisers to refer the CCG’s decision to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), a rare concession in such cases. In late 2017, the IRP decided against advising a full review of the CCG’s decision, but Graham said he had not given up the fight.
Working closely with the Hornsea Hospital League of Friends and the Withernsea and District Health Forum, Graham also organised a petition which secured the support of many thousands of people across Beverley and Holderness. This was presented to local health chiefs in December 2016.
There was a clear consensus among Holderness residents that the plans were a mistake that would leave them facing long round trips over country roads to get help following a cut or a sprain, and that they also risked increasing the pressure on both Yorkshire Ambulance Service and A&E at Hull Royal Infirmary. In an area with low car ownership, Graham was determined to make sure local residents were not left behind.
In April 2018 the CCG ignored the clamour from residents and closed the Minor Injuries Units in Hornsea and Withernsea. For Withernsea, Graham secured a couple of concessions – the CCG provided an 8-to-8 Centre based at the hospital where very minor injuries could be treated. To address the low car ownership in Withernsea, the CCG offers free taxi transport to and from Beverley Urgent Treatment Centre. Graham continues to fight, alongside Councillors Healing, Tucker and Holmes, for a decent NHS provision for Withernsea and surrounding area. In 2021 the CCG were forced by the MP and Councillors to replace the discredited 8 to 8 service with an improved minor injury service and every six months Graham brings together representatives from the CCG, the GP practices and other NHS organisations to meet with him and Councillors to discuss NHS provision improvements.
In Hornsea, upon the closure of the town’s MIU unit, fantastic volunteers set up a First Aid unit based in Tesco car park, and it continues to offer a great service to the town. Graham brings together representatives of Hornsea Hospital League of Friends with the NHS every six months to maintain and improve services offered at the hospital.