Lamb Foggo Clinic *File photo
Lamb Foggo Clinic *File photo

Services at the east end minor injuries clinic are in line to be cut as part of cost-cutting measures by hospital board chiefs.

The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is looking at the viability of the Lamb Foggo Clinic — with the daytime diagnostic service under threat of closure.

A spokeswoman for the BHB confirmed: “BHB is seeking efficiencies in its services and is reviewing all its operations, including this daytime service, regarding which a final decision will be made shortly.”

The spokeswoman stressed that the review did not include the urgent care service at the Southside clinic would not be affected.

The urgent care clinic — for people with minor injuries and illnesses who do not need a full Emergency Department service of the type provided at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital — is open from 4pm to midnight during the week and from noon to midnight on weekends and bank holidays.

She said: “About 5,000 people use this service each year and it has reduced the pressure on the Emergency Department for minor injuries and illnesses.

“Additionally, the facility will continue to provide medical servies when the Causeway closes, for example, during a hurricane and be available as a disaster hub in the East End should it be needed.”

The daytime service, however, does not include a doctor or nursing service, just a technician who can carry out diagnostic tests like X-rays, ultrasound and blood and urine tests.

The service means that people who need tests do not have to travel to the King Edward or other testing facilities in the centre of the island.

The spokeswoman said: “It is for people whose physicians have referred them for a diagnostic test, not for people with urgent care needs.

“This diagnostic-only service has not been accessed frequently.”

The purpose-built Lamb Foggo Clinic was opened in 2009, with the aim of saving people from the east end of the island from travelling to central facilities for treatment.

In addition, to acting as back-up in the event of the Causeway closing, it was also intended to relieve pressure on the King Edward Emergency Department.

The clinic had more than 5,660 visits in 2010-11 and 4,343 the year before.

With the current number of hours the facility operates, that means that it treats around two patients every hour. n