ONGOING staff shortages are being blamed for temporary closures of Burnham-on-Sea's minor injuries unit.

The unit in Love Lane is usually open from 10am until 6pm each day with the last patient being admitted at 5.30pm

But Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said staff shortages mean there will be closures and restricted opening hours at the unit.

The town's MIU has already been temporarily closed twice this year and MIU's in Minhead and Shepton Mallet have also been affected.

A spokesman for SOMPAR, said the trust is experiencing 'increasing difficulties' in staffing MIU's across the county and they have to take the 'difficult decision' to restrict opening hours in some units when they cannot run them safely.

The spokesman said: "We know that it is a disappointment and concern to local communities when we need to restrict opening hours on safety grounds and we are doing all we can to keep our normal opening times unaltered.

"This includes working very hard to attract permanent staff and seek short term bank and agency staff to cover shifts.

"Many of our colleagues are also volunteering to work extra shifts, or working in a clinical role, to keep services open.

"When we do need to restrict the opening hours of some units, we notify our NHS partners so that patients who seek advice are given up to date information, post information on our website and on our social media accounts. The minor injury service is one of a number that provide care. Anyone who is not sure where to go should ring NHS 111 for help and advice, this is accessible 24/7.”

The opening hours for Burnham-on-Sea MIU are as follows:

  • Closed on Friday, September 6
  • Open 10am-6pm on Saturday, September 7
  • Closed on Sunday, September 8
  • Open 10am-2pm on Monday, September 9
  • Open 10am-2pm on Tuesday, September 10
  • Closed on Wednesday, September 11
  • Open 10am-2pm on Thursday, September 12

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