Unit will close until April 11 due to staff shortages.

Bideford’s minor injury unit (MIU) will be temporarily closed until Monday April 11, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has announced.

The trust said it had been forced to close the unit due to ‘a shortage of appropriately skilled staff’ which has been ‘exacerbated by sickness’.

Agency staff are unable to cover the unit due to the specialist nature of minor injury services.

Rob Sainsbury, director of operations, said: “We have tried our best to avoid this temporary closure, including calling on staff from North Devon District Hospital (NDDH) and Ilfracombe, but it was not possible to find a safe solution.

“We apologise for any disruption the temporary closure may cause.”

People with a minor injury or illness have been advised to call or visit their GP, call the NHS’s 111 service, or visit A&E at NDDH.

Earlier this week the Gazette reported that the trust was contracted to run Bideford’s MIU service until 2017, but the service was still ‘under review’ in light of national guidance.