The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital in Tamworth will be “temporarily'” closing earlier than normal.
From today, Monday, October 11, the MIU will open from 8am and close at 9pm, seven days a week, an hour earlier than normal.
University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB) says it needs to “ensure we’ve got the right number of staff with the right skills to care for our patients, which has been a challenge over recent months”.
The League of Friends of the Tamworth Hospitals has said “this news is so sad”. UDHB added it will continue to review the situation and reiterated it is a temporary change in response to staffing challenges vowing: “As soon as that improves it will return to normal opening hours.”.
Duncan Bedford, executive managing director at UHDB, said: “We have made this decision following careful consideration and after discussions with our clinical teams at Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital.
“To provide a safe service for our communities we need to ensure we’ve got the right number of staff with the right skills to care for our patients, which has been a challenge over recent months.
“Our community hospitals are an incredibly important part of the trust and are an integral part of the communities they serve. We will continue to review the situation.”
Alison Wadlow, matron for the MIU at Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital, added: “Patient care is our main focus and we want to reassure our communities that our dedicated team at Sir Robert Peel are still available and still able to provide exceptional care for your minor injury and illness needs.”
Reacting to the announcement, Kath Jones, chairman of The League of Friends of the Tamworth Hospitals, said: “This news is so sad. With face to face consultations with local GPs still being very much in decline, the MIU at Sir Robert Peel Hospital has been a lifeline to many residents in Tamworth and surrounding districts.
“We were filled with optimism when a community programmes manager was recently appointed to extend existing services and develop new ones, at the Sir Robert Peel & Samuel Johnson Hospitals. Contrary to extending existing services, this is now doing exactly the opposite. It feels very much like, one step forward, and two steps back.”
In response, Mr Bedford sought to reassure residents and said: “This is a temporary change in response to staffing challenges. As soon as that improves we will return to normal opening hours.
“Sir Robert Peel is a fantastic hospital and our colleagues who work there provide an exceptional service to the local community. We’re progressing well with plans to expand the services we already offer from the community hospital, as well as introducing new ones based on the needs of our local people.
“Community Midwives are now on site and providing pre and post natal services to Tamworth residents. We’re expanding our diagnostic services which will increase access for the community to a range of diagnostic procedures over the next five years. Increased range of surgical procedures are being offered, in particular development of Ophthalmology Treatment.
First contact physios are in place at Tamworth as part of joint working with the local Primary Care Network for musculoskeletal conditions. In partnership with MPFT (Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) a targeted Covid vaccination hub is on site and there is the utilisation and development of Philip Ward.”
If you require health care advice or treatment outside of operating hours, NHS 111 is available to offer advice online or over the phone and if you need to be seen face to face, they can book a direct appointments at the emergency department at Queen’s Hospital Burton or make referral to another service.
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