Minor Injuries Unit closed due to ‘staffing issues’

PUBLISHED: 10:30 22 August 2012

Hospital patient

Hospital patient

Archant

The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Ottery hospital was closed this week due to ‘staffing issues’.

Although open again for three days next week, it will again be shut on Thursday, Friday and next Monday, only reopening on August 28.

A spokesman for North Devon NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, said the normal service and opening hours of 8am to 1pm will resume after then.

All patients who turn up at the Ottery MIU will be redirected to either to Honiton hospital, the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital or Devon Doctors.

The spokesman apologise for the disruption the closures has caused, adding: “Decisions such as this are not taken lightly, and the safety of our patients is our number one priority.

“While temporary closures like this are regrettable and can cause uncertainty, the Trust’s view is that, as a last resort, we would rather shut the unit than keep it open with unsafe staffing levels.”

He said despite a rigorous search for suitably-qualified staff to cover the shifts in question, none were available, and the specialist nature of MIU work means the hospital was unable to call on agency employees.

The spokesman did confirm North Devon NHS Trust is in the process of recruiting staff who meet MIU requirements.

Ottery councillor Claire Wright said the closure raised questions about staffing at the unit, adding: “While nobody would advocate the MIU being open without being properly staffed, it isn’t acceptable for it to be closed and it should be a priority for the hospital to have the right staff to keep it open at all times.”


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