A minor injuries unit in Cornwall will shut down for three days from this morning to help with a staffing crisis at the county's main hospital.
The closure at Falmouth Community Hospital will enable two members of staff per shift to help out at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.
The redeployed staff will work in the casualty department at the Truro hospital, which last week declared a major incident after being hit by a rising tide of admissions coupled with bed-blocking issues and an outbreak of the infectious winter vomiting bug norovirus.
The status of the problem was downgraded on Wednesday after seven days, but the hospital is still suffering from staffing problems. Kevin Baber, chief executive of PCH said the decision was made to improve patient safety across the county.
"While we acknowledge the short-term possible disruption closing Falmouth MIU over the weekend might bring, I would like to reassure patients and staff that we have taken this action in the best overall interests of patient care," he said.
The Falmouth minor injuries unit will reopen at 8am on Monday, but until then patients are being advised to attend Camborne and Redruth Community Hospital, which is open from 8am to 10pm, or Helston Community Hospital, which opens from 8am to 8pm.