OPENING hours at Evesham’s Minor Injury Unit have been cut by three hours a day after health chiefs admitted they had failed to recruit enough nurses.
The unit, at Evesham Community Hospital, will now be open between 9am and 9pm seven days a week, instead of the previous 8am to 11pm opening hours.
Health chiefs at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust made the changes after admitting it was unable to recruit enough suitably qualified nurses to operate the minor injury unit safely.
The move echoes a similar problem faced by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust when they introduced ’emergency’ changes to maternity, neonatal and gynecology services at both the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals last November.
Low staffing numbers were blamed for the changes which saw mums to be all directed to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital to give birth.
Despite being branded ‘temporary’, the changes still remain meaning more pressure on the Worcestershire Royal’s services.
Efforts have also been made in the past few months to encourage more Vale residents to use the Minor Injury Unit with live waiting times available on the trust’s website.
However, Health and Care Trust bosses say the majority of patients are currently admitted during the new opening times.
Health chiefs have also reminded residents the unit only treats minor injuries such as small cuts and burns, grazes, sprains and strains.
Those with serious or life threatening conditions or injuries should dial 999 or visit A&E straight away.
Mel Roberts, lead for Community Services in South Worcestershire, said: “Despite several attempts we have been unable to recruit suitably trained nurses to ensure we can safely cover the current hours with appropriately qualified staff to treat patients with minor injuries and prevent them from attending A&E.
“We know the unit plays a key role in the local community as well as alleviating pressure on A&E in the county, and it’s certainly a resource we value.
“This slight change will ensure it is adequately staffed,” she added.
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