Petition to save Chepstow’s Minor injuries unit handed in
4:50pm Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
A PETITION signed by more than 2,500 people calling for the reinstatement of Chepstow’s Minor Injuries Unit is being handed in today.
The closure of the valued resource has roused people in the community and their voices will be heard as the petition is given to the Aneurin Bevan Health Board at noon.
Over the last three months, signatures have been rolling in online and on paper copies posted in various locations in the community.
The petition was started by members of Chepstow Labour Party who were outraged by the unit’s closure in November 2011.
Last month the Free Press reported that 278 people had signed it online, but the number has proved much bigger now the paper copies have been counted in the past few weeks.
Cllr Gerry Rowe, chairman of Chepstow Labour Party, said: “It’s become very apparent just how strongly people feel about this – especially the elderly, those with children and those without transport.
“There is a really strong feeling that a town the size of Chepstow, particularly a growing town, needs to have the facilities to handle minor emergencies without residents having to make a difficult journey to an already over-stretched facility.”
Some of the main concerns are the journey of more than 20 miles to the nearest accident and emergency department and the closure of the MIU coinciding with the cessation of the out-of-hours service provided by the three general practices in Chepstow.
Others are the high cost of travelling by taxi to the nearest hospital in Newport or Abergavenny and the time it takes for school staff to accompany injured children there.
The petition is only calling for the restoration of a local minor injuries service and not a full A&E department.
It is being presented to the ABHB chairman by Chepstow town councillors Gerry Rowe, Dale Rooke and Hilary Beach and Monmouthshire councillor Dimitri Batrouni.
Next Wednesday the matter will be reported to a meeting of the health board.