A hospital trust has been forced to issue a plea to patients not to turn up at its minor injury unit with serious and life-threatening conditions.

Staff working at the Wye Valley Trust MIU have raised concerns after patients requesting treatment for serious injuries which should have been dealt with at an accident and emergency department.

These include patients turning up with chest pains and anaphylaxis, the most serious type of allergic reaction which can cause death.

A&E consultant Jules Walton said: “Our minor injury units are not accident and emergency departments, and as such, do not have the facilities to treat conditions such as chest pain, breathing difficulties, major injuries, problems usually dealt with by a GP, stomach pains, gynaecological problems, pregnancy problems, allergic reactions, overdoses, alcohol related problems and mental health problems.

“Attending the MIUs with these type of complaints may delay treatment, so if it’s serious, don’t delay, call an ambulance.

“It’s also important to remember that outside of the 8.30am to 5.30pm opening hours, staff trained in the management of minor injuries and ailments are not available.

“Outside of these hours, the only nursing staff at the community hospital sites are those trained to look after patients on wards. These ward patients are placed at risk if ward nursing staff are called to deal with members of the public attending the MIUs out of opening hours.”