Hospital’s minor injuries unit ‘to stay open until March’

Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Ref shs 3264-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Ref shs 3264-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton. - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s under-threat minor injuries unit (MIU) looks to have been given a seven-month reprieve.

The future of the service at Sidmouth Victoria Hospital has been in doubt since healthcare bosses at the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched a review into facilities across the region.

But CCG decision-makers this week announced that plans to find a new provider to run urgent care services – which include MIUs – have been scrapped.

The health authority now says it intends to let a contract with the service’s current operators, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, run until March next year.

Graham Vincent, chairman of trustees for the Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Comforts Fund, said: “The decision by the CCG to terminate the procurement process is, of course, only a postponement of the final decision.

“Until a new model of urgent care access for patients is decided nationally, which will be by March 31, 2016, our MIU will remain open.”

Mr Vincent, who was recently among Sidmouth representatives on a CCG panel tasked with exploring options for the future of health services, said he was ‘confident’ that he and the town’s other representatives ‘made a strong case to retain the MIU’ for the long-term.

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The CCG says it will now need to ‘consider the way forward’ for urgent care services.

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