In response to readers’ requests, The Week In has this week set up a petition giving people the chance to add their support to a renewed bid to get the promised minor injury unit at Cossham Hospital.
Campaigners fought an original decision to close the Kingswood hospital in 2004 and it underwent a £19m refurbishment, opening in January 2013 with a renal dialysis unit, birth centre, X-ray and scanning department, physiotherapy and outpatient appointments – but not the minor injury unit (MIU) that had been planned.
In 2014 the Reformed Save Cossham Hospital Group petitioned for the MIU to be opened as the closure of Frenchay Hospital meant people from the Kingswood area having to trek to the MIU at Southmead Hospital or over to the one at Yate.
But instead, health chiefs implemented a two-year trial in 2016 offering minor injury treatment at GP surgeries – a scheme which cost around £500,000 to step up. The local Clinical Commissioning Group said it was a better fit with their plans for improving urgent care services for the district’s 266,000 residents. The cost of running an MIU at Cossham – put at almost £1m a year – was also a major factor in their decision.
At the time the CCG said they believed it was a unique trial in England and felt it might be copied in many other areas. But it ended up not relieving pressure on A&E services. Instead the CCG made major investment into the MIU at Yate.
MIUs are able to treat patients with cuts and grazes, sprains and strains, arm, lower leg and foot injuries – including broken bones – bites, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, broken nose/nosebleeds and minor eye problems, such as scratches. People can drop in to an MIU with no appointment or can be referred by a GP.
The other nearest unit to Kingswood is the South Bristol Urgent Care Centre at Hengrove.
We have printed a petition form in this week’s issue which calls on the Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to implement the minor injury unit.
You can also sign it online at: https://www.petitiononline.uk/its_time_for_the_minor_injuries_unit_at_cossham_hospital
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