DORSET County Hospital (DCH) will temporarily relocate its minor injuries team to Weymouth Hospital while work to expand its emergency department gets under way.

Dorset's full network of minor injury units(MIUs) were today reopening (June 21) for pre-booked appointments - but DCH's minor injury team will be relocating to Weymouth Hospital.

The emergency department at DCH remains open 24/7 for serious and life-threatening conditions throughout the work.

READ MORE: Dorset County Hospital multi-storey car park: completion date for project

Work to refurbish the emergency department at DCH started last month and will increase its current capacity for patients.

While the refurbishment is taking place, the MIU in Weymouth will be extending its opening hours until midnight.

A spokesman for DCH said it was not yet known when work to refurbish the hospital department will be completed.

A Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: "This summer, Dorset County Hospital’s emergency department will temporarily relocate its minor injuries team to Weymouth Hospital while vital refurbishment work takes place at the Dorchester emergency department to increase its capacity.

"The Dorchester emergency department will still be available 24/7 as usual for serious and life threatening injuries and conditions, but will not be able to accommodate less serious cases while the refurbishment work takes place.

"Any patients who attend Dorset County Hospital for non-serious conditions will be booked into the Weymouth service."

The hospital has been allocated £62 million government funding to expand its emergency and intensive care services to meet demand.

As part of the work a new multi-storey car park is currently being created, which is set to be completed in summer 2022.

The development, off Williams Avenue, is set to provide more than 650 car-park spaces to help ease the pressure on the emergency department, which was designed for 22,000 patients a year - but was dealing with almost 50,000 people prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The car park development is freeing up land in order to expand the emergency department and Intensive Care Unit and establish an Integrated Care Hub.

Other MIUs reopening today in Dorset include The Victoria Hospital, Wimborne; Swanage Hospital; Blandford Hospital; Portland Community Hospital; Westminster Memorial Hospital, Shaftesbury, and The Yeatman Hospital, Sherborne.

People are being asked not to just turn up, but to call for a telephone assessment first – a system which has been running during the pandemic.

Jane Elson, Dorset HealthCare’s service director for integrated community services, said: “We’re delighted not only to re-open all our MIU services, but also to provide them in a more targeted, efficient way.

"We had to change things over the past year, and pre-booked appointments worked extremely well.

"It will save people travelling when they don’t need to, and ensure patients who do require face-to-face appointments won’t have to sit around waiting for very long.”

NHS officials say the best thing to do is to call 111 or visit online, and if you need to go to a MIU the service will book you in.

Visit for full details of all Dorset HealthCare’s MIUs, including opening times.