Proposals that could see Cirencester Hospital’s overnight minor injuries unit closed has been condemned by the area’s County Councillor.
Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust has put forward three recommendations all of which seek to end the hospital’s 24 hour Minor Injuries Unit (MIU). The review proposes to end the provision of overnight cover at the hospital due to lack of demand.
Cllr Joe Harris has reacted with anger to the news and instigated a petition to try and save the service; within hours the petition has attracted over 600 signatures.
Cllr Harris said: “This is a really important service not just for Cirencester but also the surrounding area, it is therefore unacceptable that closure is even being contemplated. Many people at some point have needed to use the MIU in an emergency situation overnight and if this move goes ahead they will have to travel to Gloucester, Cheltenham or Swindon.”
“This will move will have an negative effect on vulnerable people in particular who struggle to get around, one resident told me the other day that due to staff shortages at the hospital she had to pay £70 for a taxi to Gloucester.”
“Over the next 15 years Cirencester is going to dramatically increase with up to 2350 new homes being built, we need a strong local hospital that can cope with the future growth of the town. When services are struggling it is easy to just recommend closing them, our Hospital is a gem in Cirencester’s crown and it needs supporting and enhancing.”
Local resident Francesca Cooper has used the overnight facility several times since the birth of her daughter, she commented:
“Any parent knows how reassuring having a service like Cirencester is, I’ve got an accident prone toddler and have had to use the overnight services a few times including last weekend. It’s good to know that if she needs treatment I can pop along and be seen by highly professional and friendly staff.”
“To close the hospital overnight would be a serious erosion of this service and make many people feel much less comfortable about where to turn when an accident happens. Please support Joe’s petition and take any opportunity to speak up for this wonderful service”
To sign the petition please visit http://www.joe-harris.co.uk/keep_cirencester_hospital_open_overnight