During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, a decision was made by Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership to temporarily close some of the sites that deliver the Minor Injury Service to consolidate staffing, support Covid-19 response and vaccination work and to help protect Community Hospitals from Covid-19 spread.
Sites which previously operated a ‘combined delivery model’ (where the minor injury service was supported by staff that worked on the ward) were temporarily closed and have remained so for the duration of the pandemic.
Peterhead, Huntly and Fraserburgh Minor Injury Units have remained open throughout the pandemic and operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
All sites, including those that have remained open - differ in skill mix, built environment, activity level, and level of trained nursing staff. Which means that IJB must continue to develop the Minor Injury Service to offer sustainable services fit for the future.
Following the two-year hiatus, it is important that the service re-mobilise in a phased manner to ensure that all staff have the right training and support to deliver minor injury treatment. The service has moved to being appointment based rather than a drop-in service. This means that anyone requiring treatment for a minor injury should call NHS24 on 111 where details of their injury will be taken, and they will be put in touch with a member of the local team who will direct them to the best care or treatment for their injury.
Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership’s, Chief Officer, Pam Milliken, said: “The nationally driven change to how people access Urgent Care Services means that we are better able to work as a network and schedule appointments for people where they can get the right treatment. Basically, this means that people will get to the right person or service to treat their issue as quickly as possible.
“A further benefit of scheduling appointments is that we can better work across services such as X-ray to make sure that people are seen and treated as quickly as possible and that we meet everyone’s needs.”
Clinical Lead, Rachel Taylor, said: “Nursing staff across all of our services have been working incredibly hard throughout the pandemic and it is nice to be able to start planning for the future. It is really important that we re-mobilise the minor injury service in a planned way to make sure that everyone that needs to be, is properly trained and supported to deliver minor injury treatments, especially after such a long break in delivering this service.”
Work is already underway across all of Community Hospitals to prepare for the re-mobilisation of the minor injury service.
If you suffer a minor injury, please call 111 to be directed to the best available care and treatment.