Minor injury unit shut overnight

PUBLISHED: 10:54 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:36 15 June 2010

THE MINOR Injury Unit at Honiton Community Hospital will no longer be open during the night - despite claims from the mayor he was reassured it would remain open 24 hours a day.

THE MINOR Injury Unit at Honiton Community Hospital will no longer be open during the night - despite claims from the mayor he was reassured it would remain open 24 hours a day.

Due to "unforeseen circumstances related to staff" Devon Primary Care Trust has reduced the unit's hours to 7.30am to 10pm.

The nearest 24 hour minor injuries unit to Honiton is now in Exmouth.

Sally Slade, director of health and social care, said the decision to alter the times was "unavoidable".

"Few people use the service at night and this can also present us with difficulties when we are scheduling opening hours to suit the needs of all our patients.

"We are keeping the situation under review with key partners, such as the ambulance services, Devon doctors and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital."

Mayor of Honiton Councillor Vernon Whitlock said: "About a year ago, we were reassured by the chief executive of Devon Primary Care Trust, Dr Kevin Snee, that Honiton would retain the minor injuries unit for 24 hours.

"We, Honiton Town Council, need to be in discussions with Devon Primary Care Trust in order to be reassured that this is merely a temporary closure."

Minor injuries units provide a non-urgent service for a range of conditions, including cuts, bruises and sprains.

The unit in Marlpits Lane was the nearest 24 hour facility of its kind serving people in Honiton, Axminster, Seaton and the surrounding towns and villages.

Sally Slade added: "We have publicised the changes widely at the hospital and have informed Devon County Council's overview and scrutiny committee - despite having to act so swiftly.

"In the event that anyone presents themselves at Honiton's minor injury unit overnight, while the hours are reduced, they will be redirected to other NHS services."

The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital's accident and emergency unit also opens 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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