Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Patients are reminded that the Minor Injury Unit at Neath Port Talbot Hospital is still open 24/7 - and often offers much shorter waiting times than the larger Emergency Departments (A&E) at Morriston and the Princess of Wales hospitals.
The changes made to the Acute Medicine service at Neath Port Talbot Hospital last week mean medical emergencies are no longer dealt with at the hospital. However some members of the public have assumed that the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) has also closed – when in fact it is running as normal.
Since the hospital’s Acute Medicine change happened on 22nd August, attendances at the MIU have gone down by about a third, with some patients going unnecessarily to Morriston Hospital’s Emergency Department instead, and then facing longer waits.
Eight out of 10 Neath Port Talbot MIU patients are seen, treated and discharged within an hour; but the larger Emergency Departments can be very busy with much longer waits.
Now Neath Port Talbot Hospital MIU staff are asking the public to use their service more widely. Patients don’t even have to be from the Neath Port Talbot area; the Minor Injury Unit is open for everyone.
Judith Morgan, Consultant Nurse in Emergency Care and clinical lead for the MIU, said:
“We offer a 24-hour minor injury service which treats adults and children over the age of one year.Patients are seen and treated by our very experienced team of specialist nurses and health care support workers.”
One of the patients in the Neath Port Talbot Hospital MIU today (28th August) was 17-year-old Morgan Evans, from Rhos, who injured himself in a cycling accident.
His mum, Samantha Evans, said:
“We’ve always come to the Minor Injury Unit at Neath Port Talbot Hospital because the service we’ve had is excellent. Today we walked in and Morgan was seen straight away.”
The MIU is able to assess and treat the following:
· Limb injuries which include broken bones (fractures) and dislocations of the shoulder, finger and toes.
· Grazes, wounds and minor burns
· Head or face injuries without loss of consciousness
· Minor neck injuries where the patient is mobile and has no pins and needles in arms
· Minor back injuries not occurring from twisting or lifting
· Foreign bodies to eyes, ears and nose
· Non-penetrating eye and ear injuries
· Rib injuries where there is no coughing up of blood or chest infection
· Insect, animal and human bites
· Insect stings
The MIU offers the following treatments: wound closure including stitches and gluing; application of dressings; plaster casts, splints, strappings and slings; reducing shoulder, toe and finger dislocations; removal of foreign bodies and eye washes.
The unit can also give patients antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatories to treat injuries, and give tetanus vaccinations following an injury.
Follow-up clinics are also offered for suspected fractures and knee injuries.
Last year the Neath Port Talbot Hospital Minor Injury Service treated around 19,000 patients, with 83% discharged within an hour of arrival (92% within two hours and 100% within three hours).
Out of these 19,000 patients, only 4% needed to be referred to Morriston, Singleton or the Princess of Wales hospitals for more specialist treatment.
A consultation at the MIU may include an x-ray which generates a radiology report, usually within a week.
As well as shorter waiting times than the larger ABMU Emergency Departments, finding a parking space is also not normally a problem.
The MIU sees patients from Swansea, Gower and Bridgend as well as Neath Port Talbot.
We want to make sure that all our patients get seen as quickly as possible so would encourage people to use the MIU at Neath Port Talbot Hospital if they have the above conditions, to help us take pressure off the other sites.
Photo caption: L-R Helen Mills, Healthcare Support Worker; Ingrid Eiersland, Staff Nurse; Sharon Herbert, Healthcare Support Worker; Morgan Evans, aged 17, patient and Diane Williams, Nurse Practitioner.