The Minor Injuries Unit at North Cambs Hospital, Wisbech is to open at weekends between 25 January and 30 March.
The unit run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust will be open 8.30am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Patients who need x-rays at weekends will be referred to Doddington Hospital where appropriate. The unit operates a walk-in service, no appointment is necessary.
The expanded opening times are in addition to its usual opening times from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm.
Mike Passfield, Head of Nursing, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, said: “The aim of the weekend opening is to provide more accessible services and reduce the pressures on local A&E departments, which are greatest during winter.
“Although A&E is for life threatening emergencies, some people from Wisbech with a minor injury might have felt they had no alternative but to go to hospital at Kings Lynn or Peterborough at weekends. By opening the minor injuries unit at weekends we are offering local people another alternative to A&E hospital services 7 days a week.”
Experienced and highly trained nurses and paramedics at the minor injuries unit will treat a wide range of problems that do not need a visit to A&E, such as:
• Wounds – cuts and bruises (tetanus immunisation can also be given)
• Bites – human, insect and animal
• Minor burns and scalds
• Muscle and joint injuries – strains, sprains, limb fractures
• Sports injuries
• Emergency contraception
• Eye problems eg. removal of foreign bodies, conjunctivitis
• Earache (patients aged 2 years and over)
• Cystitis (not children or males patients)
• Minor head injuries (with no loss of consciousness).
Local people are also being reminded about the conditions that the minor injuries unit does not treat and where they should go instead:
Go to A&E or call 999
• Medical emergencies
Go to your GP
• Repeat prescriptions
• Care for dental problems
• Treatment for long standing conditions
• Travel vaccinations
• Sick certificates.
Go to your dentist
• Dental problems.