By Sian Bayley, Local Democracy Reporter
The urgent treatment centre at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton “must be reopened urgently”, according to the MP for Putney.
Fleur Anderson has called for the reopening of the minor injuries unit – now called the urgent treatment centre – after it was closed in March as a temporary measure in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ms Anderson said: “There is no A&E in the whole Putney constituency, and so the unit is a vital local healthcare service treating up to 18,000 residents each year. Since lockdown, these residents have been told to go elsewhere.
“I really value Queen Mary’s Hospital and all the fantastic staff, but I am worried that it gets overlooked by NHS managers. This leaves local people in a desperate situation if they need help urgently.
“It is unacceptable that people are now forced to travel up to an hour on public transport to Teddington or Kingston for medical assistance.
“Worrying statistics are emerging of lower cancer diagnosis rates and reduced access to GP appointments due to Covid restrictions. Residents need access to the urgent treatment centre more urgently than ever.”
Ms Anderson said she spoke to the chief executive of St George’s Trust, which runs the hospital, during the summer, but was left “concerned” that they could not say when or if the unit would reopen.
“The permanent loss of this service would be a gap in local healthcare and a devastating blow to local residents. As the winter increase in need for health services is coming, it must be reopened urgently,” she said.
A spokeswoman for St George’s Trust said the urgent treatment centre was temporarily closed as part of the trust’s response to the coronavirus outbreak “to protect patients, staff and the public”.
She added: “We are reviewing this decision on a regular basis, and will aim to re-open the unit as soon as we are able.”
Pictured top: Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton
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