THE FUTURE of the minor injuries unit at Andover War Memorial hospital is under review.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, took the decision to close the unit in April so it could redeploy staff elsewhere to deal with Covid-19.

Ever since then, patients with minor injuries have had to travel to Winchester or Basingstoke to be seen.

Three months on and the unit is still closed.

“We are currently gradually resuming services in our hospitals in line with national guidance and clinical need, and reviewing the next steps in areas which have not yet restarted," Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at HHFT said.

"Although we are not currently caring for any positive patients in our hospitals, Covid-19 continues to dramatically change the way we care for patients, and therefore have had to make the difficult decision to continue to utilise the expert skills of our staff in Andover across our sites to ensure we can continue to provide the best possible care to our patients."

In April, HHFT's chief executive, Alex Whitfield, said this was not a permanent closure. But when the hospital was asked this week to confirm the unit would reopen, it was not able to say.

“We are in close conversation with our staff, and are working with them on future plans for the service," Dr Alloway added.

"In the interim, the public can continue to access care via NHS 111 online and – in an emergency – 999. Over the last few months, the brilliant staff at our hospital in Andover have played a crucial role in our response to Covid-19, and we’d like to thank them for their continued hard work and dedication in caring for our patients as we adapt to these new ways of working.”