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Changes to Minor Injuries Units and community X-ray provision

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (SDTCCG) have agreed the timing for the planned closure of Paignton and Brixham Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) and changes to X-ray facilities. These planned changes are another phase of implementing the agreed recommendations from SDTCCG’s 2016 community consultation ‘Into the future: Re-shaping Community Health Services in South Devon and Torbay.’

Paignton and Brixham MIUs will close permanently after the last clinics being held on Friday 28 July. Both sites will continue to operate as Health and Wellbeing Centres, with Brixham also being a Clinical Hub (see Notes). Alternative MIU facilities are available at Totnes, Newton Abbot and Dawlish Community Hospitals.

As identified in the consultation, from Monday 31 July all MIUs (Totnes, Newton Abbot and Dawlish) will be open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. This standardising of MIU opening hours is simpler for people to remember, and better aligns with patient demand.

From Monday 31 July, Brixham and Paignton’s X-ray facilities will also be permanently closed, with last patients seen on Friday 28 July. There will be X-ray services at all three MIU sites: Totnes, Newton Abbot and Dawlish Community Hospitals.

Liz Davenport, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust says: “The opening hours we are planning for community radiology services has been driven by severe staffing shortages. In spite of a sustained recruitment drive, we have been unable to fill all our vacancies. The lack of radiographers is a national problem, not just something we are facing here in Devon. We must put patient safety first and these proposals aim to consolidate our staffing, so that we can get the maximum X-ray cover across our three MIU sites. We have to balance patient safety with an adequate service provision.

From Monday 31 July the new X-ray operating times will start to be introduced, including a seven day a week service at Newton Abbot:

  • Newton Abbot X-ray:
    • 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
    • 9am to 1pm during weekends
  • Totnes X-ray: 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday
  • Dawlish X-ray: 1pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday

From Saturday 30 September, weekend X-ray at Newton Abbot will be extended to 9am to 5pm, when we will also be able to offer people booked X-ray appointments at weekends for the first time.

Ms Davenport continued: “Please be assured that we are planning to make the most of the resources we currently have, whilst also maintaining safety standards. People need to be able to get X-rays when they are referred, so we are doing our best to provide an X-ray service at each MIU site, balancing patient safety with likely demand.

“We would like to be able to offer 12 hours of X-ray a day at Totnes and Newton Abbot and we will continue to review this in light of service demand and workforce developments.

“We also need people to use our MIU services in the right way – we know that some people who previously attended MIUs could have seen a pharmacist or their GP or practice nurse – so over the coming months we will be working closely with our CCG partner, GPs and pharmacies to direct people to the most appropriate place for their needs.”