HASLEMERE Hospital League of Friends chair Rose Parry is urging as many people as possible to respond to a major NHS shake-up of walk-in centres that poses a threat to the much-valued minor injuries department at Haslemere Hospital.

Under the ‘Better Care Together’ case for change proposals now out to public consultation by Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Haslemere Hospital’s minor injuries department is no longer considered ‘fit for purpose’.

The League of Friends is calling for the department to be expanded – not axed – by becoming a designated Urgent Care Centre that will meet the new NHS requirements.

Mrs Parry said:“Guildford and Waverley CCG have to redesign services to meet the needs of subacute illnesses and minor injuries.

“The new centres are to be referred to as Urgent Care Centres and provide 12-hour cover seven days a week under the leadership of a GP.

“The current minor injuries department at Haslemere Hospital, as many local people know, has already been greatly reduced over the years and does not meet the new requirement for a 12-hour day, nor is it commissioned to provide the treatment of minor ailments/illnesses.

“The commissioners are now required to provide both and link in with other services which provide subacute care to deter patients from attending acute A&E departments.

“The minor injuries department at Haslemere Hospital, despite its current limited service, is a vital part of our community.

“The League of Friends and other health group partners feels it is pivotal to be maintained and further developed into an Urgent Care Centre.

“The emergency nurse practitioners who work in the department are highly skilled and valued. The hospital has good road links for the surrounding rural community and good access to the A3. A main line station exists for those who commute.

“We all have the opportunity to influence and participate in this consultation. Guildford and Waverley CCG have publicised this consultation widely.

“Locally, we criticised the lack of engagement over the borders in regard to the stroke consultation. Our criticism was listened to and on this occasion full engagement has taken place with our neighbouring counties.

“What can you do now? You can read the case for change’ and find out about the planned consultation events at www.guildfordandwaverleyccg.nhs.uk, call 01483 405468, text 07917 087560, or email [email protected].

“Your views matter in any format which is convenient to you or your families.

Public meetings have been arranged across Guildford and Waverley and the CCG is happy to speak to groups with a link to local health matters.

A public meeting will be held at Haslewey, Wey Hill, Haslemere, from 6pm-8.30pm on Monday, September 16, and at Liphhook Millennium Centre on Tuesday, September 17 from 6pm-8.30pm.