Health services fractured says Oswestry mayor
A Shropshire mayor says local health services are fractured after seeing the problems for herself.
Councillor Sandy Best wants to see hours extended for services at Oswestry's minor injuries unit which, she said, is being used more and more as people seek alternatives to over-run accident and emergency departments.
She says improving health care in the county's market towns will help those already struggling to travel to Shrewsbury or Telford.
Councillor Best had to take her partner, Marilyn, to Oswestry's minor injuries unit after she fell, badly hurting her leg and knee.
"We were told that it should be X-rayed but, by the time we had to wait to be triaged and then had to wait to be seen again, we were told that she couldn't have an X-ray as the department shut at 2pm," said Councillor Best.
"In fact we were told there were no X-rays after 1.45pm as there has to be time to close down the department.
"We went home thinking we would return in the morning. But Marilyn was in such agony in the night that I rang the 111 service. We were asked if we could get to A&E in Shrewsbury but I don't drive and so they sent an ambulance for her."
Councillor Best said they were both concerned that they had had to use emergency services that were already overstretched.
"This was exactly what we wanted to avoid and was why we went to the minor injuries unit," she said.
"I want to ask Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, not those working on the front line, why funding can not be used to extend the opening hours of both the MIU and X-ray.
"You can only have an X-ray in Oswestry before 2pm on weekdays and not at all at weekends."
They mayor said that while they were waiting to be seen they had been talking to a man who had driven from the Wrexham area to Oswestry having been told there was a 12 hour wait in A& E at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
"The people of Oswestry are having to waiting in queues because people are coming here from across across the border in Wrexham."
"There were also people who really should have seen their doctor and not gone to minor injuries," she said.
"With Future Fit looking at the future of emergency services for Shropshire it is more important than ever that Oswestry and other towns have a good, local health service."
Chris Hudson for the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust said: "We provide X-Ray services at the Oswestry Minor Injuries Unit between 10am and 2pm on weekdays, but are unfortunately unable to offer this service outside of those times at present."