Commenting on proposals that might result in the closure of Lichfield’s Minor Injuries Unit, Michael Fabricant says:-
“The closure of the minor injuries unit at the Samuel Johnson without it being replaced by a similar facility elsewhere in Lichfield is wholly unacceptable.
“It will transfer demand to already busy A&E departments in Burton on Trent and Sutton Coldfield or, more likely, overstretched local GP surgeries and would be a poor management decision by health executives.
“If you have a minor injury, you may need a tetanus injection, a local anaesthetic, a couple of stitches, and bandaging. All this can be applied swiftly by a qualified nurse in a minor injuries unit without the delays of seeking help elsewhere.
“If the local NHS are proposing an alternative to the minor injuries units currently in the Samuel Johnson Hospital in Lichfield, their current vague promises of community based delivery is inadequate.
“We need to know now the details of the precise locations of the replacement services, the hours they will be open, and the phone numbers where they can be contacted. If the service is to be home based, how quickly will nurses arrive on the scene once they are contacted? This all needs to be open and transparent. If someone suffers a minor injury, they need to know where to go and fast.
“Personally, I doubt whether any comparable replacement service can be delivered at a cost saving; indeed, it is likely to be more expensive unless it is being done on the cheap with inadequate provision.
“A minor injuries unit at a small hospital is an efficient solution when taken across the NHS as a whole. Indeed, I would like to see at least one of the GP practices currently based in Lichfield near the Samuel Johnson Hospital move across to that hospital to make full use of its facilities. Then doctors could be available in more urgent cases. This happens elsewhere in the country.
”Far from considering removing the minor injuries unit from the Samuel Johnson, local NHS officials should be considering cost-effective ways of expanding the service.”