Petition to save hospital unit serving thousands in town

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 March 2020

Burnham War Memorial Hospital in Burnham.Picture: Google Street View

Burnham War Memorial Hospital in Burnham.Picture: Google Street View

Google Street View

A petition has been launched to save a war memorial hospital’s minor injury unit (MIU) from closure.

Burnham War Memorial Hospital, in Love Lane, is in a list of seven MIUs which could be closed down and replaced with a smaller number of urgent treatment centres (UTCs) across Somerset.

Friends of Burnham War Memorial Hospital argue that if the facility is not selected as a new UTC it would mean the closure of the MIU, which would affect 'thousands of people' living in town. More than 3,200 people have signed the petition, which follows Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group's (SCCG) review of health care provisions across the district.

Wells MP James Heappey said: 'It is clear the MIU is widely supported in the community and it is hugely necessary, because Burnham is not just the 20,000 people that live here year-round - the population doubles over the summer (due to holidaymakers visiting the area).

'The idea that there should be a permanent threat to the MIU is something I don't support and I will be working with the Friends of Burnham Hospital group to make the case that the MIU remains open. I'll be fighting this hard. It is absolutely right that we as a community make sure that our opinion is heard.'

The hospital group states if the unit were to close, the closest hospitals would be in Bridgwater and Weston, which it says would involve 'hours of travelling' using a 'wholly inadequate' public transport system.

GP and Fit for my Future programme clinical director Dr Alex Murray said: 'I would like to reassure everyone that no decisions have been taken and there is a genuine opportunity for the public, voluntary and community organisations and our health and care staff to help us shape our community services for the future.'

SCCG chief executive James Rimmer added that is services 'have to adapt' to ensure it meets the needs of people living in Somerset today, and their children and grandchildren in the future.

To sign the petition, visit www.friendsofburnhamhospital.org.uk and to complete the SCCG's questionnaire, log on to www.fitformyfuture.org.uk

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