Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, has obtained confirmation from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel that they reported to the Secretary of State for Health on 7th April with their advice on whether the promised Minor Injuries Unit should be delivered at Cossham Hospital – they are still awaiting Jeremy Hunt’s decision.
The issue was referred by local Councillors to Jeremy Hunt in January in an effort to get the CCG’s decision overturned. The decision is now at the highest level and Jeremy Hunt is not bound to follow the IRP advice.
Jo McCarron said:
“This further delay is incredibly frustrating. If we are to be successful it will be down to the tireless work and campaigning of the Save Cossham Group, and I have been honoured to help and work alongside them every step of the way. Having got the issue referred to the highest level, we were hopeful that the Government would intervene decisively and swiftly to overturn the CCG’s decision. It’s incredibly frustrating that Jeremy Hunt instead passed the decision onto another body, and is now stalling even though that body has already reported its assessment.
“The Minor Injuries Unit was supposed to be part of the new, refurbished Cossham that opened in January 2013, thanks to the £19million of investment secured under the last Labour Government – so we’ve been waiting more than two years already. With A&E waiting times getting worse and worse, it’s more important than ever that we get the urgent care services on our doorstep that we were promised. As things stand, we still have no MIU and nothing to replace it.”
Jo McCarron and the Labour team have been working closely with the Save Cossham Group every step of the way to press for the MIU. Andy Burnham came to Kingswood to meet with Jo and the campaigners and submitted a statement supporting the campaign at the last Council Health Scrutiny meeting. Luciana Berger from the Shadow Health Team met with the Save Cossham Group on 23rd March and joined Jo’s call for the Secretary of State to use his powers to intervene decisively and swiftly to prevent further delay. While we wait for Jeremy Hunt’s decision, residents have no Minor Injuries Unit and nothing in its place, as the CCG has shelved alternative plans for urgent care services at local GP surgeries until the MIU decision has been made.