MINOR Injury Units at two community hospitals will remain closed for the rest of January due to 'seasonal pressures'.

The units at Ross-on-Wye and Leominster community hospitals will remain closed as staff are redeployed to Hereford County Hospital.

Wye Valley NHS Trust has made this decision due to sustained pressure on services throughout December and over the festive period.

Jon Barnes, chief operating officer at the Trust said: “These seasonal pressures have been experienced by hospitals up and down the country.

“The demand on services remains high so, in line with our plans to cope with winter pressures, we have taken the decision to extend the temporary closure throughout January to allow us to redeploy experienced emergency nurse practitioners to provide enhanced support where it is clinically most needed.

“The safety and welfare of patients is the Trust’s priority. We have a duty to ensure we provide safe clinical care for our most vulnerable patients.”

The Trust is advising that there are a number of alternatives local people can use instead of their local MIU.

These include seeking advice from their community pharmacy and for urgent medical help that is not life threatening, the public can call NHS 111 – this is also the easiest way to access the GP out-of-hours service.

The decision to temporarily close the MIUs will not affect other activities at the community hospitals – all other services at Ross-on-Wye and Leominster Community Hospitals will continue to operate as usual.