Petition calls for Cossham minor injuries unit

September 30 2021

A KINGSWOOD nurse has set up a petition asking for a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) to be opened at Cossham hospital.

Josh Ditte, a urology and blood service nurse at Southmead Hospital, has collected nearly 2,000 signatures on the petition to “Implement a Minor Injury Unit at Cossham Hospital, Bristol.”

It is addressed to the Prime Minister, Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore, Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy, and Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees.

Mr Ditte, 31, said: “Local NHS services are over capacity in Bristol, with no structure in place for a minor injuries centre for east Bristol.

“There was an original petition for Cossham to provide minor injuries services. However, this never came around. I have created this new petition to show there is still demand and need for the service.

“My partner sliced his hand open on a glass cafetiere here in Kingswood a few weeks ago and 111 told him to go to Southmead. At Southmead they asked why we were there and hadn’t gone somewhere local, and we had to keep repeating that there wasn’t anywhere more local.

Josh Ditte

“I felt really sorry for my colleagues at Southmead because they’re really overstretched and this could have been dealt with at a MIU because all he needed was an X-ray and stitches.

“Cossham has the room and facilities and I feel having a hospital for the east of Bristol would help out Southmead and the BRI and would also save lives, which is the most important thing.

“I’m not sure how much of a difference my petition will make but as a nurse I know how much help this could give the local
area. I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.

“I realise it would cost money, but it’s daft that we’ve got all the facilities there and they’re not used. It wouldn’t be a problem getting staff because loads of nurses live in Kingswood. I’d certainly work there – it’s a three-minute walk from my house!”

Mr Ditte will give the petition a few more weeks to run before sending it to the addressees in the hope they will take action.

Cossham Hospital, which opened on Lodge Hill over a century ago, was due to close completely in 2004. Following a campaign it underwent a £19 million refurbishment. 

Nowadays it is home to a small birth centre, outpatient services, physiotherapy, a dialysis unit, audiology department and X-ray and scanning department.

Although a MIU was considered, this was dropped in favour of a two-year pilot service treating minor injuries at local GP surgeries. This was scrapped in 2018 and residents now need to travel to Southmead, Yate or the BRI if they need treatment for a minor injury.

The petition can be signed online at bit.ly/Cossham

Kingswood ward councillor Andrea Reid has encouraged people via her Facebook page to sign Mr Ditte’s petition.

She wrote: “With the loss of Frenchay, it's now a six-mile drive to our nearest Acute Care hospital, and almost seven miles to our nearest Minor lnjuries Unit. Even car owners are denied prompt access to medical care as a result. For those without transport of their own, the bus journey is arduous. Our local ambulance services are being overwhelmed.

Many of those signing Mr Ditte’s petition have expressed frustration that there are no facilities within easy distance of their homes.

One wrote: “We were promised one before the refurbishment and it’s about time they gave the people of Kingswood area what they promised.”

Another said: “We badly need such a facility on the eastern edge of Bristol. At the moment we only have Southmead Hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary, or Yate, all of which are more than 30 minutes away (assuming you have access to a car!)”

 South Gloucestershire Council has commissioned a health and wellbeing survey. It can be completed online until October 8 at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/southglos-publicsurvey