New system for minor injuries unit to prevent long delays

July 31 2017

EXTRA staff and a new waiting system will be introduced at Yate’s Minor Injuries Unit

EXTRA staff and a new waiting system will be introduced at Yate’s Minor Injuries Unit

to try and avoid long queues building up.

The unit (MIU) has had to close early on a number of occasions due to high demand to ensure patients are seen and that clinic rooms are empty by the time the unit closes.

From August 1, national urgent care guidance will be adopted, which means the MIU will close during the day for short periods when the number of people waiting starts to build up. It will re-open once those patients have been seen.

Carrie Wedgwood of Sirona, which runs the unit at the West Gate Centre, said demand for the unit had increased dramatically in the past three years and at times all three clinic rooms were used by people waiting for ambulances to be transferred to hospital, which had a knock-on effect on the service.

An average of 50 people were seen every weekday by the four-strong nursing team, with as many as 80 dealt with on some days.

Although many had complex conditions or severe injuries, time was also taken up dealing with such things as paper cuts, people who had run out of prescribed medication or verrucas which could be treated more speedily at a pharmacy.

Ms Wedgwood said the unit aimed to meet the national standard of seeing people within four hours and the new system would mean people would not be waiting for many hours.

She said: “We recently piloted it and closed when the unit had nearly a four hour wait. We were able to catch up within two hours and re-open.

“As Mondays and the Tuesdays after a bank holiday are always busy, where possible we will be ensuring we have an additional member of staff available on those days.”

She reminded people to use the MIU appropriately. It can deal with such things as sprains and strains, cuts and grazes, injuries to the arm, lower leg and foot, superficial bites, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, broken noses, nosebleeds and eye problems such as scratches or foreign bodies.

The unit is open on weekdays from 8.30am- 7.30pm and at weekends and bank holidays from 10am-1.30pm. The X-ray facility is run by North Bristol NHS Trust and does not open at weekends