OPENING times for the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at the Vale Community Hospital in Dursley are being reduced as the NHS struggles to employ more nurses.

Although MIU services will continue to run at the Vale seven days a week, opening times have been temporarily changed to 10.00am to 6.00pm, meaning a 28 hour a week reduction in service.

Normal opening hours of 8am to 8pm are set to resume in July.

Director of service transformation, Susan Field, said the national challenge to recruit nurses was also prevalent in Gloucestershire, and services were having to adapt.

“This change in opening hours is in response to a shortage of emergency nurse practitioners to manage the MIU services at Stroud and the Vale Hospitals,” she said.

“This will enable our team to continue to operate a clinically-safe service for local people, and reflect the times where there is the highest demand for MIU services at the Vale, as well as enabling us to keep the MIU service at Stroud General Hospital running 24 hours a day.

“As a responsible employer, we also recognise the importance of looking after the health and well-being of our staff."

During the next few months, the trust is running a sustained recruitment campaign to employ more specialist nurses, as well as continuing to train and develop current nursing teams to further their skills and qualifications.