By Graham Smith
One of Cornwall’s Conservative MPs has described the Cornwall Reports article about the threat to ten Minor Injury Units as “scaremongering.”
St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double said the article, which is based on an internal NHS Kernow management report, was “misleading and pure speculation.”
Mr Double’s statement confirms that NHS Kernow is now closer to defining the criteria for the four Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC) which will form the basis of healthcare in Cornwall once management passes to an Accountable Care Organisation (ACO), due to come into effect on 1st April.
The NHS Kernow document identifies these UTC sites as Penzance, Camborne, Truro and Liskeard. Mr Double’s statement stops well short of guaranteeing that the Minor Injury Units at the ten other sites will stay open.
The health and council bosses who are preparing Cornwall’s ACO have made no secret of their plan to close all of the MIUs – the only issue is which sites would be winners, and become UTCs, and which would be losers and closed for good.
Mr Double’s statement, in full, says: “In light of the recent speculation in the media regards to the future of Minor Injury Units (MIUs) around Cornwall, I want to issue this statement:
“Upon reading the media reports I immediately contacted the CEO of Kernow Care Commissioning Group (KCCG) to ask for clarification.
“I have been informed by the KCCG that `the articles are not accurate and are taken from a briefing that went to our public governing body in early December. Cornwall Council scrutiny committee was briefed at the time as well.’
“I have also read the minutes of the KCCG Governing Body meeting myself and it is quite clear to me that the report was not addressing the future of MIUs across Cornwall but a very specific matter of which MIUs could be easily upgraded to the new Urgent Treatment Centres.
“At a time when the NHS is facing the biggest pressures of the year this type of scaremongering is not helpful, especially when it is based on misleading information and pure speculation.
“Please be assured that I believe passionately that we need to retain our MIUs in both Newquay and St Austell and will vigorously fight to keep them should they ever come under a real threat of closure.”