Grassroots group, Didcot Against Austerity, has launched a campaign to get a minor injuries unit in Didcot.

The group is part of the national organisation, the People’s Assembly Against Austerity which campaigns to end cuts to public services.

Minor Injury Units (MIU) are for injuries such as deep cuts, broken bones, severe sprains, minor burns and scalds.

At the moment, anyone in Didcot with such an injury needs to travel to the Abingdon MIU or, for more severe injuries or life threatening emergencies, to the Accident and Emergency department at the JR hospital in Oxford.

Campaigners from Didcot Against Austerity say that, with Didcot growing so rapidly, the town should have its own MIU.

The group took to Didcot shopping centre on Saturday to talk with residents and gather support for the idea.

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Members of the public signed the group's flip chart in support of having a MIU in Didcot and many residents said they were “fed up”with having a lack of facilities as the town expanded and population increased.

Now, the group aims to work towards getting the backing of the town council, South and Vale district councils and Oxfordshire County Council.

Carol Stavris, co-convenor of Didcot Against Austerity, said on Saturday: “People have been very supportive – it was very quiet in town today and yet still more than 40 people signed up in support in just an hour and a half.

“Many of them wanted to talk and some who have lived here a good while have been telling us that Didcot used to have a walk–in medical centre some years back. Didcot people are saying they are fed up with having facilities taken away, as housing expands.”

Didcot Against Austerity co-convenor, Marie Walsh, said: “Didcot is said to have a population of around 36,400 but the town now straddles two district council areas. When developments in the west of the town are taken into account it adds more than 11,000 people to that total and they are often not counted because they come in the Vale of the White Horse council area, not South Oxfordshire where Didcot officially sits.

“Rapid growth in Didcot is a well-documented fact, so it should not be a surprise to anyone. As long ago as 2015, the Oxfordshire Joint Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee acknowledged that ‘we have specific local challenges including 22,000 new homes being built in Didcot.’

“Where is the provision in response? There has been some expansion of GP services over the last few years, but nothing like enough to keep pace with the growth in the town.”

In a meeting in February 2020, the grassroots group highlighted that Didcot’s public services were at breaking point and struggling with a growing population after numerous financial cuts.

Last year Ms Walsh suggested a minor injuries unit in Didcot could help take the pressures off health staff across the county in doctors surgeries and in A&E.

Now with gained support Didcot Against Austerity plans to launch a petition to show the strength of feeling there is locally for a MIU in Didcot.