MEP weighs in on Sidmouth hospital unit closure

PUBLISHED: 16:35 20 November 2015

Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Ref shs 3264-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

Sidmouth Victoria Hospital Ref shs 3264-50-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton.

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A South West MEP is calling for a re-think over recruitment practices following the closure of Sidmouth's minor injuries unit (MIU).

UKIP MEP Dr Julia Reid says service users will be the ones to suffer as a result of the ‘urgent and temporary’ move by the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust (NDHT).

Last week, trust bosses closed the town’s MIU in response to a government-imposed cap on how much can be spent on agency nurses.

NDHT spent £5million on temporary staff in the first six months of this year, compared to £6million for the whole of 2014.

Dr Reid said: “It is deeply concerning that we are to witness these temporary bed closures due to the costs of agency staff and the spending cap.

“Clearly, this is a completely unacceptable situation and sadly it will be service users who will feel the impact of these cuts – particularly as a result of the proposed temporary closure of the MIU in Sidmouth.

“It is clear that the trust needs to grasp the nettle of this problem and the whole issue of staff recruitment policies needs to be looked at to ensure excellent service delivery and best value.”

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