A Lib Dem councillor has warned closing Lichfield’s minor injuries unit would have a significant impact on local communities.
Plans have been drawn up to close the facility at the Samuel Johnson Community Hospital completely. A 24-hour service was scaled back last year.
Lichfield’s Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has already questioned whether the closure would save money in the long run, and now Lib Dem councillor Paul Ray has warned of the impact the move could have on local residents.
He added: “Lichfield and Burntwood is a large residential area of approximately 100,000 people and needs a decent local hospital.
“If the facilities at the Samuel Johnson are scaled down, will Burton and Good Hope hospitals be able to cope with the increased demand?
“It should also be appreciated that Lichfield has a high elderly population and health services which can be accessed without having to travel to neighbouring towns is very important to them.
“The proposed changes are not at all clear at present and there needs to be transparency and an appreciation of how important local hospital services are to the people of Lichfield and Burntwood.”
Savings of £104million in healthcare by 2021 are being targeted across Staffordshire. Among the considerations are a review of the five minor injuries units across the county and a reconfiguration of services which are currently being delivered at a number of sites.
Cllr Ray said: “There are some sensible proposals in the report and we do support the determination to get providers working together and not competing.
“However, this government’s severe underfunding of the NHS and councils who have to provide our social care services is clearly evident in this report.
“Under the Lib Dem’s influence in the coaltion government health spending increased in real terms – but under this Conservative government the lack of funding is there for us all to see.”