New services to treat minor injuries at GP surgeries have proved popular in their first month.
South Gloucestershire is thought to be the only area in the country in which every patient with a cut, sprain or scald can see a nurse in their GP surgery on the same day, as an alternative to waiting in line at a minor injury unit or hospital emergency department.
All 25 GP practices in the area are taking part in the two-year Minor Injuries Service pilot scheme, aided by funding from the CCG, and in addition to other local minor injury services.
The CCG’s Deputy Clinical Chair, Dr Ann Sephton, said: “We’re so pleased that this has been a successful start to our Minor Injury Service, which we believe is unique in England, and may be copied in many other areas.
“The practices, their nurses and our CCG have combined to launch a scheme which has been really appreciated by the patients who have used it so far.
“We still have a long way to go before the end of this pilot period and so we will be interested to see what demand there is during the school holidays and other peak times, as well as the impact this additional service has on our MIUs and emergency departments.”
Each practice’s nurses are prepared to deal with a range of complaints, such as minor head injuries, burns and sporting sprains.
The Minor Injuries Service began on April 1 for registered patients to receive treatment from nurses during their surgery’s usual opening hours.
The first return of statistics is due from surgeries after three months, but initial feedback has been positive. Patients are being asked for their opinions on the service after they’ve used it.
Julia Roberts a nurse at Cadbury Heath Healthcare, said: “We’ve had some really positive feedback from patients and have probably seen 50 or more so far. These are people who might have been diverted by reception to a MIU or A&E before the new service started, which means this is much more convenient for them, and they don’t have to wait as long.”
Dr Nick Mansfield from Wellington Road Family Practice, said: “We’ve had 10 people use the new service so far, and the feedback we have had is that it is an efficient and excellent service.”
It is being run as a two-year pilot as an addition to each surgery’s other services. During local consultation about extra minor injury treatment options, most people told us that opening hours, access to a doctor and being able to use services which are close to home are most important to them.
Oldland Common patient Gemma Lee took her three year old son to Cadbury Heath Healthcare in the first few days of the new service after he fell and damaged his nose.
She said: “It was brilliant. I called up to ask what to do when my boy hurt his nose, thinking that I’d have to go to a minor injury unit, but they said they did minor injuries there now. If we’d gone to A&E or MIU we might have had to sit and wait, but here we didn’t have to.”
Patients seeing their practice nurse maybe referred to a GP, emergency department, local MIU or to Cossham Hospital for an X-ray as appropriate if treatment cannot be completed in the nurse’s room.
For more information on the service, check out our page on the service using the link below: