Local Activist and Councillor David Mathews hopeful of MIU reopening…

28th December 2020

…but vows to keep up pressure on efforts to fight healthcare centralisation in local authorities.

David Matthews with fellow activists

The strained situation surrounding the reopening of the Minor Injuries Unit in  Totnes community hospital seems to be coming towards a potentially  promising resolution. Local Councillor and activist David Mathews, who is leading the attempts to reopen the MIU through both online petitioning and in-person campaigning, has expressed his optimism and hope at the potential for the newfound possibility of definitive success for his local campaign in an interview with The Totnes Pulse . When reached out to by the Pulse,  Mathews stated “The latest that we hear is that they are planning to reopen the minor injuries unit, possibly in February or March”  with this  following updated information relayed to Mathews from the Torbay Trust. This comes also on the back of Local MP Anthony Magnall‘s statement on regional podcast Full Totnes Breakfast on December 3rd,  in which Mr Magnall vowed that the Unit “Will be reopened” .

keep up a gentle , firm pressure

The Torbay Trust’s last update given to the general public was in November, in which a spokesperson for NHS Devon stated “The trusts that run the MIU’s are working on reopening all of them as soon as possible… Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the MIUs in Totnes and Dawlish, is recruiting to the vacant roles in the units and hopes to safely reopen both units in the near future”.

Whilst there is an official commitment to reopening, Mathews promises to ‘keep up a gentle , firm pressure ‘ to ensure that the units do actually re-open. While it is clear this situation has been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID pandemic with both parties making note of it in their respective statements addressing the MIU closures, Mathews himself noted in his interview with The Pulse that the ‘Financial stresses’ have added unnecessary damage to the situation.
It would appear Mathews main incentive for continuing his activism is not a pandemic related anxiety nor one of local politics but rather one of holding the Government accountable at a national level for the centralisation of Healthcare services in local authorities,  which stresses Mathews statement that “Instead of centralising these services, we should be dispersing them, despite the logistical cases for centralisation , it is still needed on our doorstep” as a key motivation  to his continued local activism  . Mathews claimed in interview when speaking of local MP Anthony Magnalls response to the situation that ‘He has been peripheral to this’ further stating that it is in fact ‘His government that have been consciously running it down, which has unfortunately brought us to this stage’.

Totnes Minor Injuries Unit


Although the local activists are understandably cautious, it would appear that the situation regarding the Minor Injuries Unit is an increasingly hopeful one for the local community. Not only has Mr Magnall made a clear statement of intent to reopen, the mention of a recruitment scheme in the NHS statement supplied by the Torbay Trust, suggests a level of direct action by local authorities not yet seen since the closure of the MIU.


It would appear all that is left for the Totnes community is to wait and see that these promises are fulfilled.







John Anderson, 28/12/20: Good story that puts things in the right context. Very balanced reporting.

Kath Descher, 28/12/20: Really useful piece that outlined all the main issues and is interesting to read

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Kath Drescher
Kath Drescher
11 months ago

Really useful piece that outlined all the main issues and is interesting to read

John Anderson
John Anderson
11 months ago

Good story that puts things in the right context. Very balance reporting.