South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrat councillors have been left unimpressed by suggestions that Yate Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) should continue to turn patients away at irregular times in order to manage its workload. Sirona, which manages the MIU, has been trialling this procedure over the past few months, and claims that it has resulted in a better and more efficient service.
South Glos Lib Dem Deputy Leader, Cllr Claire Young, said: “While turning away patients to manage workload may produce a better service as far as MIU’s managers are concerned, it’s hardly better for the patients who find themselves having to go elsewhere. We know patients travel from a wide area to use the MIU so it’s vital they know whether the service is open before they set out.
“We have surveyed local residents about their experience of the MIU and there is clearly confusion about the service on offer. Some residents thought that the MIU would treat minor illnesses. Many are unaware of the minor injuries services on offer at local GP practices or believe they will face the same delays they do when trying to book a GP appointment. We believe local health managers should focus their efforts on improving public awareness rather than adding to the confusion through early closures at the MIU.”
Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Cllr Sue Hope, said: “Yate MIU is a well-liked and well used service. Instead of viewing the high use of the MIU as a problem, we have suggested that local health managers look at ways to increase the level of capacity and range of services available there, to meet demand. Ultimately though, if we want more services, the local NHS needs more funding. I hope that our local Conservative MP will join us in calling for the Government to stop their unjustifiable cuts to our local NHS.”