Hospital's minor injuries unit to close for two nights
TIVERTON'S Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is being closed for two nights next week as the NHS trust which runs it battles staff sickness.
The unit, at Tiverton Hospital on Kennedy Way, will be temporarily shut on the nights of Monday, January 14, and Tuesday, January 15.
It will continue to operate as usual in the daytime.
The unit, which can deal with lower level injuries to take pressure off larger hospitals, has been closed several times in the last 12 months at short notice, prompting Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish to raise concerns about its staffing with the Northern Devon NHS Trust, which manages it.
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Kate Lyons, the trust's director of operations, said: "We apologise for any disruption the temporary closure may cause.
"Decisions such as this are not taken lightly – and the safety of our patients is our number one priority.
"While temporary measures like this are not ideal, the trust's view is that it is not acceptable to keep an MIU open with unsafe staffing levels.
"We have been unable to find cover despite rigorous efforts to juggle the rotas of suitably-qualified staff, while the specialist nature of MIU work means we are unable to call on agency employees."
The MIU will be closed from 10pm until 7.30am on the nights in question.
Key staff and external partners have been notified and signs will be placed in the MIU to inform the public what to do if they need treatment that cannot wait until the next morning.
Tiverton's MIU sees between one and two patients during a typical night. Monday and Tuesday nights are traditionally the quietest, the trust says.