THE WELSH health minister is to be asked to look at re-opening the minor injuries unit at Chepstow Community Hospital.
Chepstow Town Council passed a unanimous resolution at its annual meeting on Wednesday (June 9) requesting Eluned Morgan to conduct an independent review of current and planned primary care services by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board in the town.
Town mayor Tom Kirton said: “Not counting any temporary arrangements due to the Covid 19 emergency, services offered at the Community Hospital have progressively been transferred to other hospitals between 19 miles and over 30 miles away.
For example, the 84 beds at the community hospital have now been reduced to 54.
“In 2011 the board, without consultation, closed the minor injury unit (MIU) at the community hospital, in spite of significant objections from residents, Monmouthshire County Council and Chepstow Town Council.
“The board argued that there was insufficient use to justify the MIU safely remaining open.”
The council argue that it would not be unreasonable to assume 30 patients a day attending an MIU at Chepstow.
Councillors say that with the nearest MIU in the centre of Newport 20 miles, many people in Chepstow and across the border in Tutshill, Sedbury and Beachley choose to use the units at Lydney or Bristol instead.
They also argue that with Lydney Hospital due to close with the opening of a new facility in Cinderford, more people living on the Gloucestershire side of the border would use a unit in Chepstow.
The council also expressed its thanks to NHS staff for their work during the coronavirus pandemic and recognised the health board had to prioritise Covid-19 and will have to return services to meeting NHS targets for health and care standards.