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"It is simply not acceptable to backtrack on a promise without approval from those who the promise was made to" - Jo McCarron on CCG announcement to shelve promised MIU at Cossham

Jo McCarron spoke at today's Board Meeting of the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, where health bosses approved recommendations to shelve plans for a Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham Hospital.

Jo expressed her disappointment and frustration at the CCG's disregard for residents' views.

She made clear that the CCG has failed to convince anybody that effective urgent care close to home can be delivered without the MIU. She warned that unless the CCG proves that its proposals would improve urgent care across the community, the promise of an MIU will have to be honoured. The fight to make sure residents' views are heard must continue.

Click here to read the CCG's plans to deliver urgent care services at local surgeries, instead of at Cossham. 

And read Jo's statement from today's meeting below:

"My priority, working with the Labour team and the Save Cossham campaign group, has been to make sure residents’ views are heard. 

It is disappointing that the Clinical Commissioning Group appears to have ignored the overwhelming call for the Minor Injuries Unit that was promised, despite all the hard work that has gone in to making sure the strength of feeling was known.

Over the last six months, the CCG has failed to get across why they don’t think an MIU is needed and why urgent care services could be delivered more effectively without the MIU. 

It feels as though they haven’t even tried to engage properly with residents.

They repeatedly stalled, delaying their decision and giving no indication as to their thinking.

They came to public meetings but couldn’t answer questions and gave no explanation of the proposals they were developing or the approach they were taking.

They held an ‘engagement event’ at which the Save Cossham residents group were told they woulnd’t have an opportunity to comment.

They emphasise in the report that the CCG has “a duty to…provide services that are equitable to all, evidenced based, of high quality and make the most effective use of the resources available” – what about their duty to listen to the people they are supposed to serve?

And all this follows their decision to downgrade the services we were promised as part of a community hospital at Frenchay.

The result is that residents were told they would be listened to but feel they have been ignored.

They simply have not been persuaded that the MIU isn’t needed. 

Of course if what is being proposed would provide more effective urgent care across the community, I would welcome it and so would local residents.

But after the community hospital was downgraded at Frenchay, the fear has always been that once again promised services will be downgraded.

Residents need to be convinced that urgent care will be delivered effectively.

Firstly they need an answer to the fundamental question, which the Labour team has already put to the CCG: if people in Kingswood have a minor injury, where should they go?

The CCG says in its report that urgent care will be provided not at Cossham but at other local facilities, but we still don’t know where these facilities will be.

And we need to know how urgent care is meant to be delivered effectively at these facilities:

How will clinicians access the x-ray and plastering services mentioned in the report?

What hours will urgent care be available?

Where will people park in an emergency?

Secondly, residents need to be able to make a judgment for themselves.

The CCG must not make a decision until it has given residents that opportunity, and its decision must actually reflect residents’ views as they use the system that will be piloted.

It is simply not acceptable to backtrack on a promise without approval from those who the promise was made to.

It is important that the CCG meets with local residents as a matter of urgency to explain its plans, answer questions, and at least start to build some of the trust that has ebbed further and further away over the last six months.

I do welcome that in the report the CCG offers to meet with the Save Cossham Campaigners."


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