Update on minor injuries services in Northern Devon

20 Apr 2022

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust closed Ilfracombe and Bideford MIUs at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. This allowed our highly skilled MIU staff to be redeployed to the emergency department (ED) at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH), where extra space and staffing was needed to provide a COVID-safe service

We continue to deal with staffing and capacity challenges across our northern services. The staff moved from Ilfracombe and Bideford MIU’s are still needed to support our ED and maintain the ongoing health, safety and wellbeing of patients. We cannot staff our MIUs without compromising the delivery of safe patient care within the main ED. Demand and patient numbers are higher in our emergency department.

MIU staff need a unique set of qualifications and high level clinical skills to provide safe urgent care, because they are remote from the support and resources available at NDDH. A key part of the solution is to recruit more MIU staff and staff for our radiology and diagnostic services at these locations and we are working hard to find suitable candidates. Despite previous attempts, this remains extremely challenging.

We understand that the temporary closure of Ilfracombe and Bideford MIUs causes concern and anxiety for local residents. We would like to reassure our towns and communities that the Trust is committed to providing local urgent care services within Northern Devon. This year we are investing in upgrades to the diagnostic suite at Bideford MIU which will improve the patient experience in future.

We have been working closely with the Integrated Care System for Devon to develop plans for the longer term and will update our communities when we are able to.

If you require urgent care please call NHS 111 or visit 111 online and they will advise where to go to get the right treatment.

Please call 999 or attend the main emergency department at NDDH in a life threatening emergency.

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Last updated: April 20, 2022