The opening hours of the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Exmouth Hospital are to be temporarily reduced from Thursday 27 June.
The Trust has been forced to close the MIU overnight due to unavoidable staff absences, including long-term sickness.
The unit is currently open 24 hours a day but from 27 June it will operate with new times of 8am to 10pm each day, until the staffing issues and safety of the service have been assessed.
Only a small number of people are likely to be affected.
The MIU typically sees about two patients each night, compared to the 40-plus patients it may see during the daytime.
Local people will still be able to access 24-hour medical cover via the out-of-hours GP service Devon Doctors, which can arrange to see patients at the community hospital if required by appointment.
Local people who suffer minor injury or illness overnight are advised to:
- Contact NHS Direct for advice – call 0845 46 47 or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
- Contact the out-of-hours GP service, Devon Doctors, on 0845 6710 270 or 01392 824600
- See their own GP in the morning, if it can wait
Kate Lyons, director of operations, said: “Decisions like this are not taken lightly – and we apologise for any disruption the temporary reduction in hours may cause.
“We have ensured the impact is minimal by keeping the MIU open during peak times and closing it at night, when we typically see about two patients.
“It is essential we provide an MIU service with appropriately skilled staff which is safe for patients and staff.
“Due to unavoidable staff absences, it is necessary for the MIU to be closed overnight while we further assess the safety of the service going forwards.”