DESPITE a well supported local campaign the Minor Injuries Unit at Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall Hospital is to close overnight from Monday, May 6.

Following a period of public engagement to seek feedback on the provision of Minor Injury services within the Gwent area, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board says it has ‘has sought to maximise local access to services whilst ensuring that these resources are utilised in the most effective way'.

In the face of local opposition the Health Board has now introduced revised opening times for Minor Injury Units at Nevill Hall, which will be open for 18 hours a day from 7am until 1am every day and at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr in Ystrad Mynach which will also be open from 7am-1am.

Opening times at Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan in Ebbw Vale remain the same and will open from 9am - 7pm on weekdays with the Royal Gwent operating a 24/7 service.

 Additionally, the 111 Wales service can be contacted 24 hours a day for minor injury queries and advice. The Gwent Health Guide also offers 24/7 access to advice on where to go for medical help.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board operates several Minor Injury Units, which provide an important part of the Health Board’s overall Urgent Care services and treat injuries that are not life or limb threatening. They are led and delivered by specialist-trained Emergency Nurse Practitioners, who can work independently and treat a range of injuries in both adults and children over one year old, including broken bones; minor burns; and eye, ear and nose injuries.

Another component of the Health Board’s Urgent Care services is The Emergency Department at The Grange University Hospital (Cwmbran), which provides critical care and emergency treatment, such as for life or limb-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Claire McCarthy, Consultant Nurse for Emergency Care at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said: “Our Minor Injury Units are a fantastic resource for our population, but we have found that their demand varies greatly throughout the day. As we noticed there was very little activity at night, we recently undertook a comprehensive public engagement exercise to ensure we were using our Minor Injury Units in the most efficient way to meet demand. The feedback we received was extremely valuable, and we would like to say thank you to all those who contributed and made their views known.

“We recognise the concerns expressed by many people and we have taken time to listen, understand and put additional measures in place as a result. Reducing the overnight opening hours of two of our units will allow us to use our limited resources in the most effective way for our patients and our staff, and to ensure they are sustainable for the future.

“We have also made sure that information about all of our Urgent Care services is readily available so that our patients understand how to get the most benefit from them, no matter the time of day.”

 The revised opening hours will come into effect from Monday, May 6.