First Anniversary for Minor Illness and Injury Unit

Patients in and around Peterborough have been making good use of the Minor Illness and Injuries Unit on Thorpe Road since it opened a year ago.

The unit, which is run by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), has been treating well over 4,000 patients a month – far more than the 2,600 predicted.

The service, which is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm, can treat a wide range of injuries, as well as illnesses. No appointment is necessary and patients are seen quickly.

The unit can help with most minor illnesses, sprains, wound infections, minor burns and scalds, and minor head injuries. Patients with more serious conditions, such as heart conditions or asthma, who are already being treated by their GP, should book a GP appointment in order to receive the continuity of care provided at their surgery and to request repeat prescriptions.

The service, commissioned by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), was designed to help reduce the strain on the Emergency Department which is often used unnecessarily at a cost of £1.3 million a year.

Speaking on behalf of  the CCG, Peterborough GP Dr Gary Howsam said: “Patients with minor problems will be best served by using the Minor Illness and Injury Unit as this allows staff in the hospital Emergency Department to concentrate on those patients with more serious and life threatening conditions. Patients will naturally be prioritised and so those with less serious conditions, who present to the emergency department, may have to wait longer – it therefore makes sense to attend your local GP surgery or the Minor Illness or Injury Unit.  When your GP surgery is closed phoning NHS 111 should be your first call - to ensure you get to see the right health professional, in the right place, first time.  Chest pain and breathing difficulties should always be seen at the Emergency Department. If you are unsure where to go to get help just call 111.''

Jenny Hinchliffe, Head of Clinical Services for LCHS, said: “It has been a very busy first year and we are delighted that patients using the service report high levels of satisfaction with the care they receive. Our staff work extremely hard to ensure patients are seen in a timely manner when they attend the Minor Illness and Injury Unit and to ensure that they are kept informed of waiting times. The trust has a strong quality and safety culture and actively seeks feedback from patients to help us to continuously improve the service we provide."