Sarah Newton, MP for Truro & Falmouth has waded in to the controversy about Cornwall NHS plans to close some of the Minor Injury Units in Cornwall. She revealed she had to use the MIU at Falmouth herself over the Christmas break.
Yesterday, Cornish Stuff published Dr Peter Levin’s report NHS in Cornwall poised to close Minor Injury Units which quoted plans by Cornwall’s NHS for the closure of some MIU to be replaced by fewer Urgent Treatment Centres ‘along the spine of Cornwall’.
This afternoon saw Kernow NHS respond to Dr Levin’s report, saying it was ‘scaremongering’ and then a response to the response where Dr Levin says “(NHS Kernow) accuses me of ‘many factual inaccuracies’ but does not cite a single one. This is perhaps not surprising since all the factual statements that I set out are taken from official publications, with full references given” NHS Kernow calls MIU Report ‘scaremongering’ – Dr Levin responds
Now the Truro MP has blamed the local Labour Party of stirring and spreading falsehoods. She said this afternoon “The Labour Party in Falmouth have been scaring people about the closure of Falmouth hospital for some time. Each time they make these claims I take them up with our local NHS Commissioners and each time they say they do not have plans to close the hospital.
I agree with the NHS staff when they tell me that the rumours are deeply unhelpful and untrue and that they are concerned it will put people off seeking medical treatment.
My family and I have visited the MIU and know what an effective service it provides. Just after Christmas I visited my local GP in Falmouth and was referred to Falmouth hospital for an X-ray. I received quick and good quality care from both my GP surgery and Falmouth Hospial. Like most local families I depend on our local NHS and will continue to work hard to ensure we have high quality local NHS services”
But Jayne Kirkham, the Labour candidate who shrunk Mrs Newton’s majority at the last general election from 14,000 to under 4,000 told us today that if Mrs Newton is guaranteeing the MIUs will stay open, then the clarification is welcome but with the current crisis in the NHS the government are not showing any certainty what the situation will be ‘next week, let alone next year’.
Jayne told us today “I note Sarah Newton’s comments about Falmouth Hospital and MIU. Like her, I have visited the Minor Injuries Unit with my family and was given kind, efficient and timely care on each occasion. It is a fantastic service that meant we did not have to go up to A&E at Treliske.
I do not think Dr Levin’s report is written to be “scaremongering”. Due to the STP, (Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships) Shaping our Future and now the potential introduction of a shadow ACS, (Accountable Care System) Cornish people are uncertain about the future of their health service and are unsure what decisions have been taken or are still to be taken. The STP did advocate replacing or converting current MIU facilities with Urgent Treatment Centres across the spine of Cornwall and people are understandably concerned over whether that will happen and their local hospitals will be closed. If that is not the case as Mrs Newton states, and will not be in the future, then clarification is welcome.
However, the concern for the future is understandable if we look at the way the current government is managing the Health Service. The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt has just taken the unprecedented decision to cancel all non-urgent operations in January and apologised to patients. Medical professionals are telling the press that the NHS is in crisis. That is not the sign of an administration that has a plan for healthcare, or can say with any certainty what the situation will be next week, let alone next year”