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Dartmouth MIU open for Regatta

Dartmouth’s minor injuries unit will reopen for Royal Regatta week, using staff from other units in Devon.
 
Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust, which runs Dartmouth Community Hospital, said it is important to ensure there are full minor injuries services when visitors flock to the town during regatta week.
 
The Health and Care Trust temporarily closed the MIU in May because of staff shortages. It has been working hard since then to recruit more staff, and two people have now been offered positions at the MIU, subject to further training.
 
Dr Sonja Manton, the Health and Care Trust’s chief operating officer, said: “We know that the temporary closure has been inconvenient for some people of Dartmouth, and we apologise for that.
 
“We are grateful to the doctors at Dartmouth Medical Practice, who have stepped in to provide a service that has met most of the need for care and treatment while the MIU is suspended.
 
“We do of course understand the need for an MIU facility during this summer’s Dartmouth Royal Regatta, so we will be providing a facility during normal hours.
 
“Regatta week is an extremely busy time for Dartmouth, and we will ensure that the medical services are ready and able to cope with the extra people who visit the town.
 
“To staff it we will have to use our nurses from other MIUs in the area, and then the places of those staff will in turn have to be backfilled by agency staff from elsewhere.
 
“Obviously this isn’t a sustainable solution, which is why we haven’t done it before now – but we know it is essential to provide treatment and care during the period of increased demand.”
 
The MIU closed in May because a key member of staff retired, and several rounds of recruitment efforts had failed to attract a replacement.
 
Two people currently working as paramedics have now been offered roles at the MIU, but they will need three to six months’ training in the more specialist skills required.
 
Dr Manton added: “People have asked why the Health and Care Trust did not plan for the retirement. The fact is, the retirement wasn’t something we could plan for.
 
“It wasn’t a person reaching retirement age and ending their career. They had already passed retirement age and then made a personal decision to give their notice.
 
“We didn’t know it was coming. But by employing two people to cover the role, we will have more resilience built into the system.”
 
Alongside the advertising, a film showing Dartmouth’s many attractions is also being made, aimed at attracting more staff to Dartmouth MIU. It will include interviews with local NHS staff and GPs, and will be used later this month.
 
While Dartmouth MIU has been temporarily closed, Dartmouth Medical Practice has provided advice and non-emergency treatment.
 
They have been able to treat many of the ailments and less-serious injuries that people would otherwise have taken to the MIU. 
 
Patients have also been asked to use the MIUs at Brixham Community Hospital (four miles away via ferry, open 8am-4pm, Monday to Friday) or Totnes Hospital (14 miles away, open 8am-9pm, seven days a week).