Staff sickness shuts Tiverton minor hospital unit

Staff sickness has forced the temporary overnight closure of a minor injuries unit at a Devon hospital.

Northern Devon NHS Trust confirmed the unit at Tiverton will close between 22:00 and 07:30 GMT on Monday 14 January and Tuesday 15 January.

The unit was also closed for four nights in June and July last year - again because of staff illness.

A trust spokesperson said it could not keep the unit open with "unsafe staffing levels".

'Not acceptable'

Kate Lyons, the trust's director of operations, apologised for any disruption the closure would cause.

"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," she said.

"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 trust said one or two patients were dealt with by the unit on a "typical" night, with Mondays and Tuesday's traditionally being the quietest.

The unit will be open as normal during the day time and signs will be put up to inform the public what to do if they turn up at the centre when it is closed.

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