HOPES that Solihull Hospital’s Minor Injury Unit (MIU) will reopen after it was closed due to the pandemic have been dashed by hospital bosses.
Councillor Karen Grinsell (Cons), deputy leader of Solihull Council, launched a petition calling on NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to bring back the unit after it closed at the start of the pandemic so operations could go ahead.
She, along with more than 3,000 others who have signed the petition, hoped its reopening could ease pressures on GP practices, West Midlands Ambulance Service and residents having to travel miles to seek medical attention.
But hospital bosses say there is no date set for the unit to reopen.
A statement on behalf of UHB and the CCG said: “There is no date for Solihull MIU to be reopened, as Solihull Hospital continues to play a crucial role in supporting UHB to be able to offer local patients their elective surgical procedures.
“There are considerable waiting lists for urgent surgical procedures, due to the unprecedented impact of Covid-19, so the capacity that Solihull Hospital provides is absolutely essential to help treat as many patients as possible, in a timely way.
“Any long-term or permanent decisions about potential changes to the MIU at Solihull Hospital would be subject to engagement with local residents and stakeholders, in line with the NHS’s statutory duties.”
The Lode Lane site was chosen by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) to become a Covid-free site so elective surgery could continue.
Because of this the MIU, Acute Medical Unit and five medical inpatient wards were moved and emergency and minor injury services were transferred to Heartlands, Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
An appointment-only clinic was set up at Hurst Lane Clinic in Castle Bromwich for those with a medical issue.
Speaking about her petition Coun Grinsell said: “It is looking like it could be a hard winter with Covid and flu coming back.
“We know we have got these pressures, we want to have elective surgeries carrying on but we need to know what the plan is and I am hopeful to have the MIU back.
“Whilst I appreciate that all the services that were transferred may not be able to return right now, at the very least, I want to see the Minor Injuries Unit returned to Solihull Hospital immediately.
“I am calling on the CCG to make this an immediate priority.”
UHB and the CCG also reminded residents to contact 111 where advise on the of the best course of action will be given – this might be visiting a pharmacy, or booking them an appointment with a GP, local Urgent Treatment Centre, or A&E.
They also say 999 should only be used in life-threatening situations.
For more or to sign the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/birmingham-solihull-clinical-commissioning-group-re-instate-the-minor-injuries-unit-at-solihull-hospital