Cromer's nurse-led MIU
Ambulance crews responding to 999 calls from north Norfolk residents who have suffered minor injuries are taking patients to Cromer Hospital's Minor Injuries Unit (MIU).
Newly agreed clinical protocols mean patient with minor injuries may no longer be taken to Norwich’s A&E unit but to Cromer Hospital’s MIU.
Cromer’s MIU is staffed by skilled, experienced Emergency Nurse Practitioners who can deal with minor injuries. The unit is open 365 days a year, from 08.00 to 22.00.
The MIU can deal with simple fractures thanks to access to some of the most up-to-date digital x-ray systems in Europe – part of the same digital image network used at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
The MIU can treat patients with a wide range of less serious injuries such as:
- Simple fractures
- Minor head injuries (with no loss of consciousness)
- Simple wounds
- Simple eye conditions, foreign body, corneal abrasions
- Minor burns
- Soft tissue injury
- Bites and stings, with no associated complications, or acute reaction
- Fingers that may be broken or dislocated
It cannot deal with:
- Children under the age of two
- Pregnancy problems
- Complicated or serious injury
- Fractures that may need manipulation (other than fingers)
- Head injury where there has been loss of consciousness
- Alcohol-related head injuries or illnesses
- Medical conditions in their acute form, asthma, diabetes, allergic reaction
- Major illness i.e. Stroke, Heart attack
The East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust now also takes some patients who have called 999 and have minor health problems to the Norwich NHS Walk In Centre, at Dussindale, Norwich. Nurses at the Walk In Centre can treat adults and children with minor illnesses.
Paul Henry, acting director of operations, said it meant ambulances spent less time on unnecessary long journeys and were therefore free to deal with other emergencies more quickly.
“With 999 call volume still rising significantly, it’s important that we free up our vehicles as quickly as possible,” he added.
A range of services are available for Norfolk people with less serious health problems:
- Self care – coughs, colds, indigestion, cuts and bruises can be handled by a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
- Pharmacy – a pharmacist can give advice about treating many common illness and on over the counter and prescription medicines
- NHS Direct (0845 4647 or www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk) offers 24-hour confidential health advice and information from NHS nurses
- Anglian Medical Care provide an out-of-hours service for GPs’ patients from 6.30pm to 8am, 01603 488488.
Accident and Emergency and the 999 emergency ambulance service is for people with critical or life-threatening problem such as:
- Heavy blood loss
- Suspected broken bones
- A deep wound such as a stab wound
- A suspected heart attack
- Difficulty in breathing
- Severe burns
- Severe allergic reaction