As concerns grow about the Stratton Minor Injuries Unit, Councillor Peter La Broy has mentioned this on his Facebook page. The issue behind the closure appears to be a shortage of nurses, about which there is a long public debate on his page.
In a joint statement from the Councillors, he said:
We are extremely angered and disappointed at the closure of Stratton Minor Injuries Unit overnight. Having had no consultation or adequate notice, we are urgently raising our community concerns and are demanding answers from Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust and the NHS Commissioning Group.
We have received a statement from CPFT, who are responsible for running Stratton MIU. In a recent study, Stratton was identified as a priority for an Urgent Care centre because of the rising population and the travel distance to any other facility from all of the surrounding parishes. There is clear evidence of need. We, therefore, find this decision astonishing.
The Trust was aware there was a staffing problem more than three weeks ago and had ample opportunity to engage with the community – why was this not done? Cases have been given to us as examples of why the services is not safe. To us they illustrate that if a patient is in distress, they would be much safer and reassured in Stratton, rather being at home, waiting for an ambulance or attempting the journey in their own transport on the Atlantic Highway to Barnstaple. On 6th December, in the late evening, that road was blocked for several hours due to an accident. We are not convinced that removing a service and leaving residents to cope on their own can in anyway be safer. The lack of consultation with the residents is disrespectful.
’ Shaping our Future ‘has been holding workshops for two years to discuss NHS place-based services – we wonder why those conclusions have been ignored.
We do not believe issues around staff recruitment, training and retention should be driving long-term changes to the service. The priorities should be our rural isolation and how to ensure patient safety.
We are already working with all stakeholders to reverse this decision. If you have any experience of Stratton MIU you would like to share, please contact Cllrs, Chopak, Labroy or Parsons on firstname.lastname@example.org
Another piece of information worth sharing, at the planning meeting of Bude Stratton Town Council last thursday, councillors discussed the challenges facing key workers (especially nurses at Stratton Hospital) in our area. There is a possibility that in the medium term future, that BSTC could create a community land trust which could acquire land and property to accommodate key workers that work within our community. I would be very interested to hear any views on this matter.