The Minor Injuries and Illness Unit (MIIU) at Dursley's Vale Hospital will close from today.

Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust has made the move to 'strengthen staffing at a smaller number of sites' following the coronavirus outbreak.

A spokesperson said demand at MIIU services has 'reduced significantly' in recent weeks, and the closure will ensure clinicians are best placed to support patients who need treatment and advice.

The nearest alternative for Durlsey residents in Stroud.

Units in Cinderford and Tewkesbury are also set to close, with the Stroud, Cirencester, Lydney and Moreton-in-Marsh remaining open rom 8am until 6pm, seven days a week.

These plans only involve the MIIUs. The inpatient hospital services at the sites will be unaffected.

John Trevains, Director of Nursing, Quality and Therapies for Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the MIIUs in the county, said: “We are looking at all of our services, as the public would expect, to ensure we carefully manage our available staff and direct our efforts where there is the most demand for our support.

“We have been careful to ensure that there are still MIIUs open which are reasonably accessible to most communities, although we do know this decision may inconvenience some.

“I hope that the public will appreciate that this is a decision we have not taken lightly and will support us in our efforts to do what is right for our communities, as well as our staff.”

The NHS is appealing to everyone to only use services, like GP surgeries and hospitals, when they really need to.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, do not visit an MIIU. Follow the specific health advice found via and use NHS 111 online if your symptoms worsen.