Minor injuries unit at Lichfield’s Samuel Johnson Hospital to close overnight from April 2016

Lichfield’s minor injuries unit will close overnight after plans were approved today.

The board of the South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – the NHS body responsible for buying services for patients in Lichfield – voted unanimously to implement the proposed changes to opening hours.

The Samuel Johnson Community Hospital

The Samuel Johnson Community Hospital

From April 1 next year, the Samuel Johnson Community Hospital’s minor injuries facility will only open from 8am to 9pm.

The CCG says figures revealed that less than one patient an hour visited the unit overnight.

Dr John James, the CCG’s Chair said: “Demand for urgent and emergency care services across the country is increasing and such services need to change to make them easier for patients to see the right person, first time when they need it.

“They also need to be financially sustainable. The minor injuries units are an important part of local NHS services, but we cannot justify opening them at times when they are so little used and when other alternatives, such as NHS 111 and the GP out-of-hours service, are available.”

Dr James admitted that a public consultation had seen strong opposition to the revised opening times at the unit in Lichfield and one at Tamworth’s Sir Robert Peel Hospital which will also close overnight.

But he insisted difficult decisions had to be made.

“It was clear that most wanted the minor injuries units to remain open overnight,” he said. “However, we must weigh this against the finite resources we have available and target those resources where they will be most effective.

“This limited closure at a time of extremely low usage will allow considerable resources to be used elsewhere.”

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