Sue Balcombe, Director of Nursing and Patient Safety for Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Shepton Mallet Minor Injury Unit is one of seven provided by Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust across Somerset. The Minor Injury Unit provides a walk-in service for patients who have minor injuries and illnesses and is open seven days a week, from 8am until 7.30pm. Minor Injury Units are staffed by highly trained specialist nurses, called Emergency Nurse Practitioners, who can independently assess, diagnose, investigate and treat a wide range of common accidents and minor injuries from strains and sprains to minor breaks, burns and scalds.
“Most Minor Injury Units are supported by x-ray services, which are staffed by radiographers and usually provided by larger district hospitals or health centres. At Shepton Mallet, the x-ray service that works alongside our Minor Injury Unit is provided separately by Shepton Mallet Treatment Centre, run by Care UK. That service runs from 9 am – 5pm from Monday to Friday. Outside of those times, patients are either booked in for a follow up appointment, or referred to the local hospital that will have a 24 hour x-ray service, such as Bath Royal United Hospital or Yeovil District Hospital.
“Minor Injury Units provide important services to local people by dealing with minor injuries close to their home – this saves patients having to travel longer distances to Accident and Emergency Departments, which also relives pressure on those services. The services provided and opening times are commissioned and agreed by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. Minor Injury Units across Somerset see a total of around 98,000 patients a year, 97% of whom are seen and treated without the need to be re-directed to an Accident and Emergency department. In 2014/15, of around 34,000 patients who responded, 93.5% said they would recommend Somerset’s Minor Injury Services to their friends and family.”