Andy Burnham, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, was in Bristol today to meet with the Save Cossham Hospital residents group about their ongoing battle to secure their promised Minor Injuries Unit. Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, invited Andy Burnham and representatives from the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure the residents' voices are being heard by those with power to make decisions.
The 'Save Cossham Hospital' group was established during the original campaign fought alongside Labour councillors and Roger Berry MP to save the hospital from closure. The campaign ultimately secured a £19million refurbishment of Cossham Hospital from the last Labour Government. That refurbishment - including a new Minor Injuries Unit - was one of the conditions on which residents accepted plans to move acute services from Frenchay to Southmead. But years after those plans were agreed, the MIU is yet to be delivered.
The South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group is currently reviewing whether to provide the Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham and will report to the Council's Health Scrutiny Committee in the summer.
Andy Burnham met with six members of the Save Cossham Hospital group as well as representatives from the South Gloucestershire CCG. After the meeting, Andy Burnham said:
"The promised Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham Hospital is under threat because of this Government's unwanted top down reforms of our national health service. The reorganisation has left services that at one time were deemed to be necessary based on local clinical need at risk of not being delivered.
"Residents in Kingswood and surrounding areas should get what they have been promised, unless the CCG can demonstrate that the clinical case for the Minor Injuries Unit has changed.
"The residents campaign group are a passionate group who deserve to be heard and I was pleased to have been invited here by Jo, who has been working with them, and to contribute to a discussion between them and the CCG."
Jo McCarron added:
"Every week I'm talking to hundreds of residents who feel genuinely let down by the uncertainty now hanging over the MIU they were all promised. My priority is making sure they are listened to. That's why I'm working closely with the Save Cossham group - together we've got more than 2000 people signed up to the MIU petition - and it's why I arranged for Andy to come and sit down and discuss the campaign and the concerns.
"I took Andy around Cossham to see the all the fantastic new facilities - it really is something to be proud of, but after £19million of investment it cannot be right that there are still empty rooms where the MIU was meant to be."