Labour councillors in South Gloucestershire have expressed their frustration and disappointment at Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s decision to ignore the local campaign for the Government to honour the plan for a Minor Injury Unit at Cossham Hospital.
The decision was sent to the previous chair of the council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Ian Scott. Speaking on receipt of the letter, Councillor Ian Scott (Labour, Filton) said:
“The Conservative Government’s decision not to support a Minor Injury Unit at Cossham will outrage residents and campaigners as they will clearly see that the decision has been cynically and politically delayed until after the General Election and South Gloucestershire Council’s local elections. Mr Hunt was sent the Panel’s assessment before the election, but the Conservatives chose not to announce this bad news until after they had secured people's votes. Labour councillors had to chase the Health Secretary this week before he finally made the decision public.
In his letter to me confirming the decision Mr Hunt sounded irritated that he has had to bother with the number of referrals that councillors have made as a result of the unravelling of local NHS services. I continue to believe it is right for councillors to speak up for local people.
The South Bristol Community Hospital has a Minor Injury Unit that is open 7 days a week from 8 o’clock in the morning till 8 o’clock at night. We could not have made it clearer to the Government that Kingswood and East Bristol residents deserve and demand the same level of service delivered at Cossham.
The Minor Injury Unit was previously promised on the basis of need and that need is greater than ever as a result of a growing population. However after 5 years of the Conservatives running our NHS that promise has been broken and we are still waiting to see if we will ever see the promised Community Hospital at Frenchay.”