Temporary closures will be introduced at Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) in Paulton and Trowbridge on Monday 18th January as frontline clinical staff are redeployed to care for the rising number of patients requiring treatment for Covid-19. Trowbridge MIU will be temporarily closed to patients booking appointments through NHS 111, but will keep some services open including dressing clinics. Paulton MIU will also be temporarily closed for NHS 111 appointments and will suspend other services.
Chippenham MIU will remain open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week and will continue to see patients who have contacted NHS 111 either by phone or online and are referred for an MIU appointment.
The closures have been introduced on a strictly temporary basis so staff can be redeployed to provide care where it is needed most. They will be monitored with a view to reopening the units as soon as it is feasibly possible and safe to do so.
Patients with minor injuries should visit the NHS 111 online or telephone service. This will provide advice on where to go for the best care for their symptoms. Patients wishing to book an appointment at Chippenham MIU will need to contact NHS 111 who will triage all appointments and, if a patient meets the criteria, they will be referred to the unit and a member of staff will call them back to arrange an appointment. Those patients who feel they need a GP appointment should call their local GP practice and are likely to be offered a phone or video consultation in the first instance, unless a face-to-face appointment is absolutely necessary.
No-one with Covid-19 symptoms should attend any medical setting unless explicitly directed to do by the NHS 111 service or a 999 call operator.
Of course, if you feel your symptoms genuinely require emergency treatment, you should always seek help from your nearest hospital.
Tracey Cox, Chief Executive of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BSW CCGs) said: “Our Minor Injuries Units in Chippenham, Paulton and Trowbridge were temporarily closed during the first peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in April, but were opened up again during the summer as soon as it was safely possible. We have taken the decision to temporarily close Paulton and Trowbridge MIUs again so our dedicated and hardworking staff can help to look after the rising number of people requiring treatment for Covid-19. I would once again like to assure local people that these new arrangements have been put in place as a temporary measure and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.”
Douglas Blair, Managing Director of Wiltshire Health and Care, which runs the MIUs in Chippenham and Trowbridge, said: “It has become necessary to temporarily close Trowbridge MIU to NHS 111 appointments from Monday 18 January 2021, so we can release frontline clinical staff to provide care where it is needed most. Patient safety is at the heart of our service delivery and we will continue to review the situation with a view to re-opening as soon as possible. Chippenham MIU will remain open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week.”
Julia Clarke, Interim Managing Director of Virgin Care in Bath and North East Somerset, which runs the MIU at Paulton Hospital said: “Given the mounting pressures on our health and care system, we have taken the decision to redeploy our crucial front line clinical staff to help care for the rising number of Covid-19 patients across our area.”