AN MP is concerned about a minor injuries unit as well as the cuts to the X-Ray services at a local hospital.

Local MP, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown met with council candidate David Cunningham and Cllr Allison Coggins to receive the 5,000 strong petition against cuts to X-Ray services at North Cotswold Hospital based in Moreton-in-Marsh.

Sir Geoffrey is additionally concerned about the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (GCS) proposals to designate local hospitals as local treatment centres.

A release from Sir Geoffrey claimed: "Under these proposals, Moreton would not be classified as such and therefore its Minor Injuries Unit could disappear altogether."

The nearest local treatment centre would be in Cirencester, which can take 45 minutes to travel to from Moreton.

Commenting, Sir Geoffrey said:

“These developments concerning the future of the North Cotswold Hospital will be met with dismay by local people. The geographical position of Moreton means that it is some distance away from all other NHS treatment centres. To seek reassurances on this, I have written to the NHS Trust to ask, given these circumstances, Moreton be made a special case.”

A joint statement from Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Working together, we are looking at how best to develop a network of strong, joined up services and centres to ensure local people experience high quality urgent care into the future.

The vast majority of people will get the advice and care they need on-line, by phone, at home, in their GP surgery and local community.

GPs and community partners in the North Cotswolds are continuing to make huge strides in development of services to meet local needs, including extra GP surgery appointments in the day time, evening and weekends and rapid response services in people’s homes.

The national requirement is for Urgent Treatment Centres to be up and running by the end of 2019.

Urgent Treatment Centres would offer an enhanced service compared to the current Community Hospital Minor Injury and Illness Units.

We would want to ensure that the Centres had the right number of staff with the right skills, they were always open as planned and we could offer access to the best possible services, facilities and equipment.

It’s important that we can deliver those benefits, but no decisions have been made about the number of Centres or their location.

It’s important we get this right and we will be spending the first half of next year listening to the views of healthcare professionals, community partners and the public before developing options and proposals for consultation.

We welcome Sir Geoffrey’s feedback and look forward to continuing discussions in 2019."

The petition, 'Save the North Cotswold Hospital X-Ray Services.' was set up by district councillor Alison Coggins for Moreton West ward after it was announced that X-Ray services were to be cut from 28 hours to 8 hours a week from November 19 at the North Cotswold Hospital, based in Moreton in Marsh.

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have been working together on the issue.

At an overview and scrutiny committee held at Gloucester Shire Hall on November 13, Conservative Council representatives negotiated a reprieve through a further 8 hours of X-Ray services for North Cotswold Hospital bringing services up to 16 hours, to be reviewed every six weeks.

Cllr Coggins and Neighbouring District Cllr Dilys Neil feel this is still inadequate and are campaigning to get the hours returned to the original 28.

Kate Hellier, chief of service and consultant physician, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS FT, said: “While there will be a reduction in the hours of X-Ray services in four community hospitals, this must be seen in the wider context of the clinical need to provide round the clock access to interventional radiologists who can perform life and limb saving procedures at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General.

While we recognise that for some people will result in inconvenience and may cause anxiety, the priority for us has to be in ensuring that we can provide safe and sustainable services throughout the county.”

The service currently employs 109 staff and has a 24% vacancy rate.

“The budget is there to enable us to recruit to our full level, the challenge has been attracting the appropriately skilled clinicians to join us. There just aren’t enough trained staff out there,” Dr Hellier added.