‘We have to fight for hospital MIU’s future’

PUBLISHED: 06:17 29 October 2014

The smaller of the two new minor injuries rooms. Ref shs 7706-40-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

The smaller of the two new minor injuries rooms. Ref shs 7706-40-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

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Sidmouth Victoria Hospital’s patients and supporters need to make a strong case to save it from cuts that threaten to close its newly-renovated minor injuries unit (MIU).

The smaller of the two new minor injuries rooms. Ref shs 7707-40-14SH Picture: Simon HornThe smaller of the two new minor injuries rooms. Ref shs 7707-40-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

That is the message from comforts fund chairman Graham Vincent, who said it at least needs to remain open in the summer when the town’s population swells.

Residents helped fund the unit’s refurbishment as part of a £1.25million project and he is urging them to have their say at a public meeting with decision-makers next month.

“The trustees on the comforts fund feel very strongly about the clinical commissioning group’s (CCG) proposals to close the MIU and will be making a strong case to save it,” said Mr Vincent.

“They have to save money, but this is the town’s hospital – the money that’s been spent on it has come from the community.

“We have to fight our corner, and fight our corner we will. We must retain the MIU.

“We are looking to have it open at least the six months of the year when the population increases so much in the town. If we could keep it open all 12 months, that would be a bonus.”

The fifth stage of the hospital’s refurbishment was completed in June – a £4.5million project 25 years in the making.

Under the NEW Devon CCG’s proposals, Sidmouth Victoria Hospital will lose its MIU, but gain more inpatient beds as those departments close elsewhere in the district, such as in Ottery.

Mr Vincent said it was ‘foggy’ what the proposals were or where the new beds would go in Sidmouth’s hospital, but they are currently ‘just proposals’.

Doctors and commissioning managers will be sharing more details with patients at Stowford Community Centre at 6pm on November 11.

They will also host a drop-in session in Branscombe Village Hall on the same day and in Sidbury Village Hall on November 12.

“If anyone has got something to say, then the consultation is the time to say it,” added Mr Vincent. “It’s no good saying something afterwards.”


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