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Talk before you walk: Chippenham Minor Injury Unit open for appointments issued by NHS111

Talk before you walk: Chippenham Minor Injury Unit open for appointments issued by NHS111  

The Minor Injury Unit (MIU) at Chippenham Community Hospital is now open for people who have rung NHS 111 and been given an appointment to attend.

This change in service is in line with the national ‘Talk before you Walk’ initiative designed to keep patients and staff safe and avoid lots of un-well people sitting together in a waiting room. Patients should not ‘walk in’ without an appointment and appointments can only be issued by NHS 111 or a doctor.

An initial telephone assessment by NHS 111 means that patients receive the individual care they need quickly, by the right healthcare professional, in the right place. A patient could be given an appointment to attend MIU or if they have an illness directed to their GP surgery. It could be that the local pharmacist may be able to help.

Chippenham MIU has appointments available from Monday – Friday 10:00hrs – 18:00hrs. There is currently no x-ray facility on site. MIU is a nurse led facility for treating injuries that are not serious, such as sprains and strains; minor burns and scalds, wound infections, insect and animal bites, and minor injuries to the eye, head. They are not specifically equipped to treat more serious conditions and our community hospitals do not routinely have doctors on site.

Anyone with a life threatening condition should call 999. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should not attend any medical setting unless explicitly directed to do so by the NHS 111 service or a 999 call operator.

Douglas Blair, Managing Director of Wiltshire Health and Care, which runs the MIUs in Chippenham and Trowbridge, said: “We continually review our services to ensure that our frontline clinical staff are available to provide care for those who need it most and patient safety is at the heart of our service delivery. Chippenham MIU is open for booked appointments and, once we are assured that the system is working well, we will reopen the MIU at Trowbridge Community Hospital on the same appointment basis.”

Chippenham MIU closed in April after a decline in the number of patients attending since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Staff employed at the unit were redeployed to help look after patients across the local health and care system.