HOSPITAL units in Ross-on-Wye and Leominster have been closed due to staff shortages.

The two community hospitals shut their doors on Monday and will likely remain closed for four weeks while Hereford County Hospital’s A&E department struggles to handle the number of seriously ill patients being admitted.

With the hospital looking to cut back its reliance on expensive agency staff, new frontline hospital workers have been recruited.

However not all those recruits are in place yet.

“The Wye Valley Trust is doing all it can to reopen the Minor Injury Units as soon as possible,” said Neil Doverty, the trust’s chief operating officer.

"It was not a decision taken lightly.

“But we have to strike a balance between the number of permanent staff and the number of agency staff we have working in our departments.

“As a consequence we have made the decision to bring experienced and skilled staff from our MIUs to maintain a safe and effective service.

MIU’s provide treatment for less serious injuries – sprains or cuts and grazes – and both Leominster and Ross have very low levels of attendance.

However Dr Andy Watts, clinical lead for Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group called the measures “frustrating” and poorly timed, with the CCG currently trying to build up local services.

For urgent medical help that is not life threatening you can call NHS 111 or use the A&E service at Hereford.