Shock after Gloucester Councillor calls for closure of county's Minor Injury Units, such as in Tewkesbury

July 11, 2017 5:37 PM

Local Councillors have hit out after Gloucester City Council's representative on the County's Health and Care Committee condemned Gloucestershire's Minor Injury Units as a 'thing of the past'.

The County Council were scrutinising Gloucestershire's emerging Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which sets out priorities for health care provision across the County as well as how these priorities will be delivered.

Councillor Collette Finnegan (Con, Glos City Council) told the meeting: "I do think STP's are the way forward, we have to have change. I appreciate what colleagues have said about Minor Injuries Units but I do think that they are a thing of the past and the STP's are the way forward."

Her remarks come a year after many communities across the area fought hard but without success to try and prevent reductions in services at their local hospitals such as Cirencester and Stroud.

Cllr Joe Harris, (LD, Cirencester Park) who campaigned to try and prevent the overnight closure of Cirencester Hospital's Minor Injuries Unit hit out at Councillor Finnegan's remarks after the meeting saying:

"I was shocked and saddened to hear Councillor Finnegan advocating the closure of Minor Injury Units across Gloucestershire through the STP, these facilities provide fantastic care for rural communities who can't always access larger facilities in our bigger towns.

"Our community hospitals have a vital role to play in easing the pressure on our larger facilities in Gloucester and Cheltenham which we know are often under real strain, I'm clear that we should be investing in facilities such as these not reducing the offer they give. Councillor Finnegan should know better after working in healthcare.

"Unfortunately her remarks are typical of many Conservatives who when it comes to the NHS never put their money where their mouth is. If they aren't prepared to stand up for local NHS services then the Liberal Democrats will."