Make your voice heard over hospital services

Published on: 03 Mar 2014

PEOPLE in Mangotsfield and Downend will be given the chance next month to have their say about future urgent care provision at Cossham Hospital.

An event is planned at Cleve Rugby Club on April 29 when the public can meet the people involved in planning and developing our health services.

A row is raging about Cossham, which reopened in January last year after a £19 million revamp. South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group is reconsidering its proposal to put in a minor injuries unit, which has infuriated those who campaigned to save the hospital.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition and a public meeting was due to be held on February 27, organised by the Labour parliamentary candidate for Kingswood, Jo McCarron.

Conservative MP Chris Skidmore has tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the NHS to “complete the minor injuries unit at Cossham Hospital as soon as possible and honour its commitment to the local community”.

The CCG has not ruled out a minor injuries unit but wants to look at all options for urgent care, by which it means occasions when advice, diagnosis and treatment are needed within 24 hours.

It plans to contact local patient, voluntary and community groups, health providers, GPs, councillors and others to encourage them to attend the event on the afternoon of April 29. Members of the public will also be able to register to attend.

The CCG is offering other opportunities for local people to put forward their views, including further events and the option to feedback via email or in writing via the CCG’s website www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk.

The group's chairman Dr Jonathan Hayes said: “Our aim, as local GPs leading the CCG, is for patients to get the right treatment as soon as possible and as close to their homes as possible, and for them to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

“We want to talk to local people, listen to their experiences of urgent care and involve them in the decision-making process, so that together we can plan to spend our money in a way that will benefit the local community most. We’re very aware of the strong feelings of some local people about a minor injuries unit and we will, of course, be taking these into consideration.”

From May 2014, Cossham Hospital will be the base for the local out-of-hours service, which will operate from 6.30pm - 8am, Monday - Friday and 24 hours a day over weekends and public holidays. Through this service, accessed via NHS 111, GPs and nurses offer telephone advice, face-to-face consultations, or home visits for patients who are housebound.

Also from May, Cossham Hospital will offer a rapid access outpatient clinic, aimed at older people. This new service will mean that GPs will be able to refer patients straight to a specialist geriatric consultant at short notice, helping patients avoid having to go into hospital Accident and Emergency departments at Southmead or the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

The new services coincide with the closure of Frenchay Hospital.

Cossham Hospital was first opened in 1907 and was built as a memorial to Handel Cossham, a local MP and benefactor.

The building, run by North Bristol NHS Trust, houses the area’s first stand-alone, midwife-led birth centre and a renal dialysis unit. It has enhanced X-ray, ultrasound, MRI and CT scanning facilities and is able to be able to offer increased numbers of outpatient and physiotherapy appointments.

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