The Friends of Burnham-On-Sea Hospital is urging residents to show their support for the facilities amid concern that the minor injury unit could be closed down and replaced with a smaller number of ‘urgent treatment centres’ across Somerset.
Burnham-On-Sea.com reported here that the NHS’s seven MIUs across Somerset, including one at Burnham-On-Sea War Memorial Hospital in Love Lane, are under threat.
The government is seeking to introduce urgent treatment centres across the UK which will be larger hubs run and staffed by GPs, with longer opening hours and a wider range of services. Since all of Somerset’s MIUs won’t be replaced with the larger centres, some may close over coming years.
Ceri Joyce, Vice Chairman of the Friends of Burnham Hospital, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We really need to show a ‘united front’ to the powers that be, just how important our local hospital is to our elderly and the local community and the added impact that closure of our MIU could have during the summer season where we have an influx of some 20,000+ holiday makers to Burnham and the local area.”
“The big issue is how can they possibly hope to roll out ‘urgent treatment centres’ which will be “larger hubs run and staffed by GPs, with longer opening hours and a wider range of services” when it appears impossible to recruit staff and run three relatively small doctors surgeries, in Burnham, Berrow and Highbridge, and indeed fully staff our current MIU.”
“To that end we wanted to highlight that there is a ‘drop-in session’ to be held at Burnham War Memorial Hospital on February 18th from 2-4pm.”
She adds: “It would be great if you could show support by attending one or both of these sessions. This is your hospital, and unless we make our feelings known we are lost.”