Minor injuries unit in Somerset to close permanently at night amid 'safety concerns'

Minehead Community Hospital
Minehead Community Hospital.

A minor injuries unit (MIU) in Minehead will be permanently closed overnight because of "safety concerns".

Minehead Community Hospital had been temporarily closed between the hours of 9pm and 8am since July last year but now the closure has been made permanent.

The MIU service will remain open from 8am to 9pm each day.

The Somerset NHS Foundation Trust says it is keeping the MIU closed at night to protect staff as concerns over safety remain.

The night-time service had been staffed by one paramedic and one healthcare assistant and provided first aid and advice rather than a full assessment and treatment.

At the time the overnight closure was announced, the NHS trust said less than one patient was being treated at the MIU on an average night.

Chief medical officer for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Dan Meron, said: “Wefirst closed the Minehead MIU temporarily overnight from 1 July 2021 because wehad concerns about the safety of the overnight service – and those concerns remain.

“The Trust board has taken the difficult decision to permanently reduce the hours ofthe MIU in Minehead because of those concerns and because the overnight servicedoes not meet the needs of the local population."

Responding to residents' concerns, the trust said it will find a "safe and sustainable" replacement service.