Minor injuries unit at Samuel Johnson Community Hospital in Lichfield to close overnight from April 2016

Access to the 24-hour minor injuries unit in Lichfield will end next month.

Samuel Johnson Community Hospital. Pic: Elliott Brown

Samuel Johnson Community Hospital. Pic: Elliott Brown

Residents are being reminded that the facility at Samuel Johnson Community Hospital will only open from 8am to 9pm from April 4, while a similar unit at the Robert Peel Hospital in Tamworth will open from 8am to 10pm.

The changes to opening times come after the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said figures showed that, on average, less than one person an hour visited the unit overnight.

Andy Donald, from the South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG, said: “The vast majority of patients will see no change to their service, as they are treated outside of the hours when the minor injuries units will be closed.

“But we do have a responsibility to ensure that our services offer the public the greatest value for money, and we will be reducing the current duplication of services at times of very low activity.

“This means we will be able to make real savings during a time of great financial challenges as supporting primary care needs in a primary care setting, rather than in a hospital setting, is far more cost effective.

“Patients will be redirected to use services already commissioned such as pharmacy services, NHS 111, GP practices, and GP out-of-hours services, ensuring that patients see the right person, at the right time.”

Mr Donald added that minor injuries unit often delayed treatment for those with serious conditions as they would have to be transferred to an accident and emergency unit anyway.

The CCG estimates that the changes to opening times will save around £317,000 a year.

But the plans have previously been criticised by Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant as “totally unacceptable”.

He said: “Closure of the minor injuries unit, or any major reduction in its opening hours, will result in more pressure at already busy GP practices in the area.”

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