Swanage minor injuries unit to close on bank holiday due to strike

As a result of industrial action in England by the Royal College of Nursing, Swanage Hospital’s minor injuries unit is to temporarily close for the day on Monday 1st May 2023.

Dorset Healthcare which runs the minor injuries units (MIUs) across Dorset, says it is having to close three MIUs including the one at Swanage due to not enough available staff during the strike.

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The minor injuries unit at Swanage Hospital will be closed on bank holiday Monday 1st May 2023

MIUs at Swanage, Bridport and Sherborne to close for the day

Dorset Healthcare says that MIUs at Wimborne and Shaftesbury, alongside the urgent treatment centre (UTC) in Weymouth, will be open as usual.

However due to lack of staff, it will not be able to provide services at Bridport, Sherborne and Swanage MIUs on the day.

“Arrangements to maintain in-person urgent care services at three locations”

Dorset Healthcare’s service director for integrated community services Jane Elson said:

“While many staff are planning to go on strike as part of the RCN industrial action, we have put in place arrangements to maintain in-person urgent care services at three locations around Dorset.

“However, we would ask people to contact 111 in the first instance if they need urgent medical help. Often people can be supported over the phone or online, and this will help us manage the pressures on our available MIUs and also local emergency departments.”

When the Swanage MIU is closed, the nearest location to get treatment for people in Swanage is currently Poole Hospital’s accident and emergency department.

Typically over bank holidays, the population in Swanage swells as visitors flock to the seaside town.

Victoria hospital Wimborne
Friends of Victoria Hospital

The minor injuries unit at Victoria Hospital in Wimborne will remain open

MIU/UTC opening times on Monday 1st May 2023

  • Westminster Memorial Hospital MIU in Shaftesbury – 10 am to 4 pm
  • Victoria Hospital MIU in Wimborne – 8 am to 8 pm
  • Weymouth Hospital UTC – 8 am to 8 pm

Anyone needing urgent help for a life-threatening illness or injury should call 999 as usual.

Strike action in Dorset and across England

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members across England will be striking from 8 pm on Sunday 30th April to 11.59 pm on Monday 1st May 2023.

In Dorset, industrial action will affect services, not only at Dorset Healthcare sites but also at hospitals in Dorchester, Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch.

RCN members will be at picket lines at a number of locations on Monday 1st May 2023 including:

  • Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester 10 am to 2 pm
  • Poole Hospital 10 am to 2 pm
  • Alderney Hospital in Parkstone, Poole 10 am to 2 pm
  • Weymouth Community Hospital 10 am to 2 pm

Industrial action was planned to take place until 8 pm on Tuesday 2nd May 2023 but the UK Government won a legal ruling saying that the RCNs six month mandate for strike action had lapsed by Tuesday.

RCN chief executive Pat Cullen
RCN

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen speaking outside the High Court in London

“The darkest day of this dispute”

Speaking after the court ruling, RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said:

“The full weight of government gave ministers this victory over nursing staff. It is the darkest day of this dispute so far – the government taking its own nurses through the courts in bitterness at their simple expectation of a better pay deal.

“Nursing staff will be angered but not crushed by today’s interim order. It may even make them more determined to vote in next month’s reballot for a further six months of strike action. Nobody wants strikes until Christmas – we should be in the negotiating room, not the courtroom today.

“The government has won this legal battle. But they have lost the support of nursing staff and the public. The most trusted profession has been taken through the courts, by the least trusted people.”

“Could not stand by and let plainly unlawful strike action go ahead”

Health secretary Steve Barclay said:

“I firmly support the right to take industrial action within the law – but the government could not stand by and let plainly unlawful strike action go ahead.

“Both the NHS and my team tried to resolve this without resorting to legal action.”

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