Whitchurch mayor Councillor Tony Neville has slammed health bosses after it was announced late on Friday that the town’s Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) would not open on Christmas and new year.
The opening hours of all four MIUs were released at around 2.30pm with Whitchurch closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in line with its standard Sunday hours, but also closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
It will be open from today until Friday and will re-opening as normal on January 2.
However, Cllr Neville said he is worried for future services in the town.
“I’m hugely disappointed to see that Whitchurch will not have a Minor Injuries Unit open at a time when people will need it over Christmas and new year,” he said.
“While I am aware that Whitchurch’s MIU doesn’t usually open on a Saturday and Sunday, so therefore would expect it to be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are on days I would expect them to open.
“Of the three other MIUs in the county, they are barely impacted upon but Whitchurch is facing seven days of closure from December 23 until January 2.
“This isn’t good enough. We’ve heard recently that people were being told to use Shrewsbury or Telford for out-of-hours and now this.
“It worries me that if they are going to close MIUs in the county, then Whitchurch would seemingly be at the top of the list, judging by these opening hours.
“Whitchurch is growing as a town all the time and we need more health provision for more people, not a reduction at times when it is needed.”
Andy Matthews, divisional manager of community hospitals and outpatient Services, said: ”MIUs can offer help with a whole range of injuries, including cuts and lacerations, bites, foreign bodies in the eyes, nose and ears, wound infections, assessment of fractures, minor head injuries and burns.”
However, when The Herald approached Shropshire Community Health for a comment explaining why Whitchurch’s services had been hit so badly, there was no one available for comment.
For details about Minor Injuries Units in Shropshire, including opening hours, visit the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust website at www.shropscommunityhealth.nhs.uk/miu