Politician’s last call to stop overnight closure

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Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Erewash, Catherine Atkinson, has made a last-ditch effort to stop Ilkeston’s minor injuries unit (MIU) from closing overnight.

Catherine spoke at the Labour Party Conference on the attacks on NHS services in Erewash.

The MIU at Ilkeston Community Hospital will close between 10pm and 8am from Monday following an audit that showed it was underused and unable to treat children.

During the speech on September 24, Catherine said: “What if injury or illness strikes in the middle of the night?

“Like a mum I spoke to a couple of weeks ago – her child suffers from severe asthma. Well if it happened tonight she would be able to go to the fantastic 24-hour minor injuries unit that we have at Ilkeston Community Hospital. But in two weeks’ time – people will say - we used to have 24-hour care but not any more.”

Catherine called for a public consultation in September over the plan to cut the opening hours of the MIU.

Dr Avi Bhatia, chair of NHS Erewash CCG, said: “The MIU opening hours will be permanently reduced from October 6. The reduction in the MIU hours was discussed recently with members of the CCG’s stakeholder forum who approved the decision.

“Should a child become unwell at night, then 24 hour care is available by calling NHS 111 with GP out of hours services as well as A&E if appropriate.”