The councillor who chaired South Gloucestershire Council’s Health Committee until May’s election has criticised the local NHS’s initial plans for minor injury provision in Kingswood as “woefully inadequate”. Councillor Ian Scott (Labour, Filton) made the comment after seeing the NHS’s plans for providing services across the GP surgeries in the district.
The Council’s Health Committee has long opposed the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision not to fulfil the promise to install a Minor Injury Unit in Cossham Hospital, using its ultimate sanction of referring the decision to the Secretary of State for Health. The Conservative Minister announced in June that he would not intervene, and the promise was broken.
NHS bosses have justified their decision with the promise that the alternative services delivered in the community would be better than those that could be provided at Cossham. However, Councillor Scott has noted that the proposed opening hours are not even as good as existing centres elsewhere in the West of England.
Councillor Scott explains:
“NHS bosses have kept us all waiting a long time for their plans for delivering minor injury services in Kingswood, despite repeated calls across many months for this information. I have to say it has not been worth the wait, as the plans are woefully inadequate.
Under the plans, Kingswood would receive a service from 8.30am to just 6.30pm on Monday to Friday. This compares unfavourably with the MIU at Yate which is open till 7.30pm on weekdays – with X-ray facilities till 4.30pm – and at weekends and Bank Holidays from 10am to 1.30pm. The facility at South Bristol Hospital is open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm.
The NHS seems to recognise that patients in other areas require better access than that being suggested for Kingswood, so I do not understand why Kingswood is being offered such a poor deal. This is something that my Labour colleagues and I will pursue through the Health Committee, but as the Conservatives now have a majority on the committee I cannot say how far we will get.
The Clinical Commissioning Group is running an online survey on its website till 11 September, so I encourage local people who are concerned about the level of service being suggested to make their views known.”