Radical and urgent changes are needed to fix healthcare in Peterborough is the message from the leader of the city council.
Councillor Marco Cereste was speaking at a Health and Wellbeing board meeting when he declared that “thinking outside the box” is needed quickly to improve the situation.
He said: “It seems to be a very very deep hole. How are we going to work together to deal with it?
“Doing things as we are now is not going to work.
“Is there a team of people working together thinking outside the box trying to find a solution to this or have we given up?”
Cllr Cereste added that he had spoken for an hour with shadow chancellor Ed Balls about devolving powers locally which is something he would want to pursue.
Also speaking at the meeting on December 11, David Whiles, chairman of Healthwatch Peterborough, said: “Something does need to be done. There is a very large black hole.
“We need to think differently and that’s beginning to happen.
“Tinkering is not going to work. We need to rip things apart.”
Elsewhere at the meeting, it was revealed that changes to the Emergency Department at Peterborough City Hospital are to be introduced on Monday in an attempt to relieve pressures.
Senior clinicians will now be tasked to treat patients earlier to reduce the time they spend at A&E.
It was added that winter pressures from last year had not reduced this summer.
Kyle Cliff, assistant director for commissioning and contracting at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “There are unprecedented levels of pressures.”