The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Crowborough Hospital will close from 8pm on Sunday (15th August) for around eight weeks due to staff shortages in the NHS.
The MIU at Crowborough War Memorial Hospital on Southview Road normally treats a range of injuries, including cuts, bites, infections, sprains, and broken bones (but not hips).
The Trust which runs the Unit have said the short-term closure will enable staff to be redeployed to similar units in Uckfield and Lewes.
Kate Pilcher, Chief Operating Officer at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, said:
We know how important Crowborough MIU is to the local community and we are committed to reopening it as quickly as possible.
Temporarily closing the MIU will allow the staff who are usually based there to support other areas of our local NHS that need immediate support and ensure that local people get the care that they need.
This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we thank the local community for their understanding.
We are reviewing the situation regularly and will reopen MIU services in Crowborough as soon as we can.Chief Operating Officer at Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
This is not the first time during the pandemic that the Unit in Crowborough has closed. In January the unit was closed for five weeks.
During this time, patients seeking help with minor injuries are encouraged to call NHS 111 first, where trained clinical staff will be able to advise which service is most appropriate for them. Alternatively, they can attend the Minor Injuries Unit at Uckfield Community Hospital instead, which is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.
No other services at Crowborough War Memorial Hospital are affected by this redeployment. Services at the birthing centre in Crowborough (run by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust) remains suspended because of a shortage of midwives.
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust have said parts of the NHS across East Sussex remain under extreme pressure, and our local GPs and other health and care professionals are working incredibly hard to ensure local people get the care they need at this extremely challenging time.
The MIU is expected to be closed for around eight weeks, but the situation is being regularly reviewed and services will be resumed as soon as possible.
Dr Paul Deffley, Medical Director for East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:
Our amazing staff across the local health and care system continue to work together to ensure our communities have access to the care they need. This is yet another example of the flexibility of our teams, adapting quickly to support areas that need extra help in these continuing challenging times.
We are working hard to ensure that Crowborough MIU re-opens as soon as it is possible and in the meantime, on behalf of the CCG, I’d like to thank our health and care professionals for their hard work and adaptability, and local people for their patience and understanding.Medical Director, East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group
If you need non-urgent medical advice and guidance, please contact 111.
In an emergency, please phone 999.