Cossham minor injuries unit: Secretary of State Referral January 2015

Date: 21 Jan 2015

Category: Statements

Our statement: 

Dr Ann Sephton, Deputy Clinical Chair and Lead for Emergency and Urgent Care at South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“The decision at the Public Health and Health Scrutiny Committee meeting to refer our decision regarding the minor injuries unit (MIU) at Cossham to the Secretary of State and the Independent Reconfiguration Panel is disappointing but not entirely unexpected.

We will cooperate fully with the referral process and will continue to work with the committee and wider stakeholders to improve urgent and emergency care services for the population of South Gloucestershire.

“In the meantime we will continue with our pilot scheme to provide minor injuries services in GP surgeries.

The factors which led us to revisit the 2009 plans for an MIU are the significant additional cost an MIU would represent to the CCG and the fact that the alternative approach to providing minor injuries services in GP practices may provide a better alignment with our overall plan for improving urgent care services for the whole population – this is also consistent with the vision emerging from the national review.

We therefore agreed that it would not be appropriate to amend our approach at this time.

“We have been looking at the best way to provide urgent care services in South Gloucestershire, providing services for the whole population, closer to where they live. In common with other parts of the country, we have been looking at whether enhancing the provision and capacity for urgent care, including minor injuries services in GP surgeries, could fulfil these requirements.

Our decision on whether to commission an MIU at Cossham will therefore be made once we have tested this alternative approach.

We recognise the strength of feeling among local people in Kingswood, however we have a duty to the whole of the South Gloucestershire population to provide healthcare services that are equitable to all.

During the last five years, the wider landscape in which the NHS operates has changed significantly and nationally a funding gap of £30billion is projected by 2020/21 if services continue unchanged. 

Our plans for minor injuries services form part of our wider plans in improving urgent and emergency care services for the whole of South Gloucestershire. This takes into consideration challenges from an ageing population, increasing long-term conditions, lifestyle risk factors in the young and greater public expectations.

“We believe an alternative approach to providing local access for people with minor injuries through enhancement of primary care services will provide a better alignment with our overall plan for improving urgent care services for the whole population and is consistent with the vision emerging from the national review.

Our proposed pilot schemes for providing minor injury services in GP practices will give patients across South Gloucestershire access to minor injuries services closer to home.

If this approach works well, minor injuries services would be available for patients through their GP surgery and the out-of-hours service.

During the past few weeks we have made good progress in developing our plans for the pilots. Once the details are agreed and have been formally approved by the CCG, the pilots will be implemented on a fixed term basis and does not involve permanent contracts. We will work with our partners including North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), Sirona – our community health provider, and Brisdoc - our GP out-of-hours provider, to help inform and develop the plans, and ensure that they fit into the wider provision of healthcare services.

“Further details on where and when the minor injuries pilots will be implemented are expected to be confirmed in February. Subject to agreeing these plans we are planning for services to commence in the spring.”

Cossham hospital