'No hope' of primary care centre or minor injury unit in Devizes
There is no prospect of a primary care centre in Devizes nor a minor injury unit, a public meeting on future health services was told.
A proposed primary care centre, where all three GP surgeries in the town are based, was shelved three years ago and instead money was spent on refurbishing Devizes Hospital when the Family Health Centre in New Park Street relocated there.
The hospital’s minor injury unit closed in 2007 and members of Devizes Hospital’s League of Friends asked local GPs at a public meeting organised by Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) what the plans were for Devizes Hospital.
Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, of Market Lavington Surgery, told the meeting on Monday night at the Corn Exchange, Devizes: “I don’t think there will be any new build, a primary care centre. I can’t see Devizes Community Hospital reinventing and having beds again.
“We are looking at services rather than buildings at the moment.
"There will not be a minor injury unit in Devizes, however there is a minor injury problem. We have patients with minor injuries pitching up at our door to be stitched. If it’s convenient, at the end of surgery, I will do it.
"We need to think more laterally how we can develop a service in conjunction with something else. We are trying to work through that.”
He said GPs were looking to use the NHS Treatment Centre in Devizes more for diagnostic tests. The centre, run by private company Care UK, has taken over providing an X-ray service for GPs after the X-ray equipment at Devizes Hospital broke down and could not be replaced.
Christine Reid, a lay member of the CCG, said recent comments by Simon Stephens, head of NHS England, about the importance of small hospitals referred to district general hospitals, such as the Royal United at Bath, and not community hospitals.
The public meeting was attended by more than 60 people and the CCG outlined their plan for the next five years which proposes to spend more money on health education and prevention, provide more care at home or in the community and spend less on providing bed based care in hospital.
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