Covid: Crowborough minor injury unit shuts and staff redeployed

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image captionThe minor injuries unit in Crowborough will close for up to six weeks

A hospital minor injury unit is to close as staff are redeployed to help care for Covid-19 patients.

The clinic at the Crowborough War Memorial Hospital in East Sussex will shut for up to six weeks on Sunday.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust said the decision was a result of the "incredible pressures Covid-19 has placed us all under".

Staff will be sent to inpatient units across Sussex to care for "patients who are very unwell," the trust said.

Patients who may usually have visited the unit for non-urgent treatment were asked to instead call 111 or travel to Uckfield Community Hospital.

'Not taken lightly'

Chief operating officer Kate Pilcher said the unit was "an important service to the town," but said patient numbers had fallen during the pandemic.

The trust was "committed to reopening it as quickly as possible," she added.

Dr Elizabeth Gill, chief medical officer for the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups, said "the decision to temporarily close this valued service was not taken lightly," adding that staff would be "redeployed quickly to where they are needed most in this time of national emergency".

There rate of Covid-19 infection was 533.8 per 100,000 people in the Wealden district of East Sussex in the week to 17 January.

Between 14 and 21 January, 57 people from the district died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19.

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