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More Patients Set for Victoria's Minor Injuries Unit

November 13, 2007 3:28 PM

New research published today (13 November) shows that significantly more patients will be able to attend the Victoria Minor Injuries Unit when it opens in 2009 than was first envisaged. 

The findings come as the new £100 million Victoria Hospital reaches another major milestone with the completion of the structure of the hospital.

In 2000, when plans for Glasgow’s hospital modernisation programme were drawn up, it was estimated that around one third of current A&E attenders would be able to use the nurse-led emergency unit.

A major audit has now confirmed that, of the 68,000 patients that attend the Victoria’s A&E every year, more than 50% present with conditions that can be treated in the Minor Injuries Unit.

The study reviewed 21,000 patients attending over a 10-week period to see how many of those presented with one of the conditions suitable for treatment by an emergency nurse practitioner.  As the new unit will open between the hours of 9am and 9pm, it also took into account the times those patients presented. 

Once the numbers were aggregated and applied to the overall number of attenders at the A&E department, it was shown that almost 36,000 patients would be suitable for an MIU attendance.

“The hospital signals a new era in patient care. Without a doubt, this development marks a significant step forward in the modernisation of the NHS in Scotland.”
 
“The new Victoria hospital will be one of the largest hospitals in Scotland and serve the local community in the south-east of Glasgow for generations to come.
 
The news has been welcomed by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Nicola Sturgeon, who was at the new Victoria Hospital to perform the Topping Out ceremony.   She said, “I am honoured to undertake the topping out ceremony for this impressive new facility.

The state-of-the-art new Victoria will be one of the largest hospitals in Scotland covering four floors and an area the size of 30,000 square metres – the equivalent of five football pitches.

It is expected to treat around 400,000 patients each year when it opens in 2009.

It will provide a wide range of outpatient clinics, day surgery and diagnostic services and specialist health services such as cardiology, renal dialysis and gynaecology, as well as the Minor Injuries Unit.

It will also have 12 short stay surgical beds, to enable clinicians to extend the range of surgical procedures offered within the new hospital.

Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde welcomed the findings from the audit.  He said: “In 2000, the concept of the nurse-led Minor Injures Unit was relatively new.  Since then, we have worked closely with Glasgow Caledonian University and medical colleagues to develop an education programme and protocols for the treatment of minor injuries.  

“We now have highly experienced nurses trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions and it is expected this will increase as further protocols are developed.

The minor injuries service is already being run in Stobhill Hospital where a dedicated minor injury service has been in place since early 2004, run by two experienced Emergency Nurse Practitioners and a support nurse.  Patients triaged as being suitable for treatment are treated in a dedicated clinical area – streamlining patients to enable both those with minor injuries and the more seriously unwell to be treated quickly and appropriately.
 
“I am delighted that, as a result, even more patients will be able to continue to receive emergency treatment at their local hospital.  This further reinforces the important role that the new Victoria Hospital will play as it serves the local community in the south-east of Glasgow for generations to come.”

Audits of the service have found not only high levels of satisfaction with the service but have also demonstrated improved waiting times for those treated by the Minor Injuries Service. 

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Photographs of the Topping Out Ceremony and the latest computer generated images of the new Victoria Hospital are available from the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde press office on 0141 201 4429.

· The new Minor Injuries Unit will be open between 9.00am and 9.00pm seven days a week and will be staffed by Emergency Nurse Practitioners (ENPs).  An ENP is an experienced emergency nurse who, following a suitable period of further education and supervised practice, is able to assess, treat and discharge a variety of patients presenting at an emergency service.

· The types of injuries that can be treated in a Minor Injuries Unit include: finger pulp injuries, knee, elbow, hand, wrist, forearm, ankle/foot, elbow, minor head injury, restricting rings, minor wounds, suturing, superficial burns and scalds, repair/replace plaster casts, embedded earrings/butterflies, tetanus immunisation. 

· The Topping Out Ceremony, which celebrated the completion of construction of the hospital structure, saw the Cabinet Secretary ‘trowel off’ the final area of concrete on the build.  In keeping with tradition, the construction workforce was toasted with a noggin of ale for a job well done.


For further information contact the Press Office on 0141 201 4429.

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