Stroud's minor injury unit 'should stay open 24 hours'

Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust
Image caption More than 5,000 people have signed the petition against closing Stroud Hospital's minor injuries unit overnight

A petition calling for a hospital's minor injuries unit to remain open 24 hours is being presented to Gloucestershire county councillors.

More than 5,000 people have signed the petition to keep Stroud Hospital's unit open through the night.

Tim Lezard, from Stroud Labour Party, which organised the campaign, said it was "a local service that people need".

But Paul Jennings, from Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said keeping it open was "not practical".

'Overstretched A&E'

Mr Jennings said: "We're not in a position to provide an overnight service at Stroud and Cirencester minor injury units, that's why we've had to have so many closures over the last few months.

"We simply cannot recruit the staff to work those shifts. They don't want to do it, there are very few patients. It's potentially quite de-skilling and demoralising for the nurses who would be working there. It's just not a practical proposition."

Mr Lezard said: "The danger is now that people will have to go to Gloucester and it is already overstretched in A & E there."

There are eight minor injury units in Gloucestershire. Cirencester and Stroud hospitals currently offer a 24 hour service.

Other units, which are not open overnight, are based in Dilke Memorial Hospital, Lydney and District Hospital, North Cotswolds Hospital, Tewkesbury Hospital, Vale Community Hospital and Tetbury Hospital.

The units treat both adults and children for a variety of injuries and illnesses including sprains, minor fractures, cuts and wounds and rashes, bites or stings.

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