STAFF shortages are being blamed for the temporary closure of Burnham-on-Sea's minor injury unit.

Burnham's minor injuries unit (MIU) at Burnham War Memorial Hospital in Love Lane was closed on Friday (July 19) and Saturday (July 20) and will be closed on Monday (July 22) .

The town's MIU will be open today (July 21) from 10am until 6pm and will fully reopen on Tuesday (July 23).

Minehead's MIU will also be opening under restricted hours.

Tracy Evans, service director for community services at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We have been experiencing significant challenges with staffing our minor injuries units (MIU) in recent weeks which has meant a number of unplanned closures of some MIUs. The position was very difficult last weekend and we did not have enough qualified staff to provide services across all of our MIUs.

“As a consequence, our opening hours were reduced over the weekend at Burnham-on-Sea MIU, Minehead MIU and Shepton Mallet MIU.

“We felt it was important that local communities were aware as early as possible of these closures. The NHS 111 advice line, ambulance services and other partners have been informed so that patients could be directed to the relevant fully operational clinical services.

“NHS 111 remains the consistent and always accessible specialist advice line all non-emergency health care and should be the first point of contact for any patients who need advice.

“We are working extremely hard, together with Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners, to resolve the staffing problems and looking at a range of initiatives and alternative solutions.  We will keep local communities advised over the coming days and weeks of the situation and our plans to address the problems but we recognise that this will not be resolved immediately.”

Due to staff shortages, the following changes to opening times apply:

Burnham on Sea MIU - Burnham on Sea War Memorial Hospital, 01278 773103

Closed on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20. Open on Sunday, July 21 as usual (10am-6pm). Closed on Monday, July 22.

Reopening on Tuesday, July 23 as usual (10am–6pm seven days a week; last patient admitted at 5.30pm).

Minehead MIU - Minehead Community Hospital, 01643 701715

Opening restricted hours (7.30am - 9pm) on Friday, July 19, Saturday, July 20, Sunday, July 21 due to staff shortages.

Reopening on Monday 22 July from 8am as usual (24 hours, seven days a week).

Shepton Mallet MIU - Shepton Mallet Community Hospital, 01749 341101

Closing early at 3.30pm on Saturday 20 July 2019.

Reopening on Sunday, July 21as usual (8am–9pm seven days a week; last patient admitted 8.30pm).

All other Minor Injuries Units are operating their normal opening hours.

For more information about the closure click here