AN MP has called for a walk-in centre for minor injuries to be built at a community hospital to ease pressure at A&E.
Suella Fernandes has outlined her aims to build or at least have a plan in place to bring a minor injuries unit (MIU) to Fareham Community Hospital in Sarisbury Green by 2018.
The Fareham MP says an MIU would ease patient flow at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham by providing beds, and also give an alternative to QA and Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
She said: ‘A minor injuries unit at the hospital would absolutely ease the congestion on the QA.
‘It’s in a good location and provides a fantastic opportunity to provide more services to the Fareham community and to Portsmouth. The site should be utilised.’
Miss Fernandes set up a task force made up of people from the Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), patient groups and health trusts and Friends of Fareham Community Hospital in March.
The group, which is set to meet every three months, has set the goal of bringing an MIU as their main target and have also looked at bringing in facilities for cancer screenings to be carried out, maternity units and a care unit for the elderly.
Miss Fernandes added: ‘I think a realistic target would be to build these facilities or at least have a plan in place for the facilities by 2018.’
Sean Woodward, executive leader of Fareham Borough Council, said he has been campaigning since the hospital was opened in May 2010 for more services there.
He said: ‘I’m delighted that Suella has joined with me to work together and bring forward these vital additions to the hospital. It is a crying shame that we haven’t got these facilities there.’
The CCG previously stated last July that it was ‘always looking’ to bring in new facilities to the hospital but it didn’t commit to the project saying ‘the NHS can’t fund everything.’
It has now confirmed that it aims to expand the hospital, but not to the degree Miss Fernandes is lobbying for.
Alex Berry, acting chief officer for Fareham and Gosport CCG said: ‘It is our ambition for the hospital to be a centre for extended primary care which would include appointments for local people with both GPs and other health professionals.
‘This may include treatment for some injuries and illnesses but it would not be a dedicated MIU.’