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Still no date for Minor Injuries Unit return

SPECULATION continues to surround the future of Stratford Hospital’s minor injuries unit more than a year after it was temporarily closed to help deal with the pandemic.

In April 2020, the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust said the unit had been closed to allow staff to be redeployed to fight coronavirus.

Health bosses have so far not categorically ruled out its future closure but reiterated this week that there were "no current plans to close the MIU permanently".

Further worries emerged last month when the Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group launched a public consultation into urgent and emergency care in the region, designed to help the CCG "understand, review and improve urgent and emergency care services in Coventry and Warwickshire".

One question asked whether respondents had used the Stratford MIU within the last two years – despite the fact it has been closed for half that time.

The consultation closed last week but SWFT could not provide any details of how many people took part or offer any results.

A spokesperson said: "We regularly review trust services to ensure they meet the healthcare demands of our local population. The minor injuries unit at Stratford Hospital has temporarily been relocated to Warwick Hospital but there are no current plans to close the MIU permanently.

"Please can we remind our community that the best way to access the most appropriate healthcare service for your needs is to first call NHS 111."

Whether the unit goes or stays, it seems likely that changes will have to be made as it does not currently meet the criteria for an urgent treatment centre, which operate longer hours, have access to diagnostics throughout and need additional support from primary care.

In 2019, a redesign of healthcare services detailed how all minor injuries units and walk-in centres should become urgent treatment centres. In the same year, the Stratford MIU was ranked second best in the country.

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