Consultation for Planned Cromer Minor Injuries Change
A three month public consultation is being launched regarding a proposal to change the opening hours of Cromer and District Hospital's Minor Injuries Unit (MIU)
The MIU is mainly run by six highly-trained specialist emergency nurses who can treat people with minor injuries and illnesses. The unit is currently open 24 hours a day and also has access to a duty hospital doctor (98 per cent of patients are treated by the specialist emergency nurses).
However, a recent survey of the unit has shown that on average less than one person uses the service between 22:00 and 08:00. The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, looked at the numbers of patients using the service between those hours from January through to November 2003.
The audit also showed that those patients who did come to the unit during the night had developed their minor injury or illness on average between a full day to half a day before attending MIU. The Trust looked at a busy summer month (August 2003) and a quieter winter month (January 2003) to look at the night-time use of the MIU between the hours of 22:00 – 08:00.
The chart shows that for the whole month of January 2003 a total of 10 people attended overnight. For August, the total was 51 for the whole month, whilst the average across all months in 2003 was 24 per month i.e. less than one person per night. These figures have been broken down hour by hour throughout the night, to show the patterns of arrival during the night.
Of the patients visiting MIU during the night, on average they had sustained their injury, or noticed the onset of their illness, at least a half to one full day earlier than the time they came to the MIU.
In light of the very low use of the MIU during the night-time hours, the NHS is proposing that the MIU is only open between the hours of 08:00 and 22:00. Night time cover for emergencies will continue to be provided by local GPs, community paramedics, and the Accident & Emergency department in Norwich.
It is also proposed that the MIU becomes completely nurse-led, staffed by highly trained and experienced Emergency Nurse Practitioners (ENPs) competent to deal with minor injuries and illnesses. It is proposed that these changes would be due to start in May 2004.
Members of the public can make their views known by writing to:
North Norfolk Primary Care Trust
Old Cromer Road