Closure of Tenby minor injuries unit confirmed
12:13pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
The closure of the minor injuries service at Tenby Hospital has been confirmed.
Hywel Dda Health Board’s Implementation Board, which is responsible for the oversight, monitoring, assurance and approval of service changes associated with the Your Health Your Future public consultation decisions, met last week and has agreed to the move.
The Health Board said this will enable the enhancement of the Accident and Emergency (A&E) service at Withybush Hospital "for the benefit of patients requiring urgent care from across Pembrokeshire and ensure we use our skilled nursing team as effectively as possible."
The closure date for Tenby Hospital’s minor injuries service is to be confirmed.
The Health Board said that a survey of patients who used the pilot Red Cross summer service (which ended on 7 September 2013) demonstrated that most of the August activity can be safely and more appropriately undertaken by other healthcare providers.
Out of the 224 patients, seen 43% were able to be more appropriately cared for by a GP or Care on Call and 19% required care at the emergency department in Withybush Hospital.
GPs will continue to provide a local enhanced primary care service for their practice populations and community pharmacies can provide additional services for minor ailments and self care. Other service provision options will also be explored where gaps are identified.
The reassurance that Welsh Ambulance Service advanced paramedics and nurse practitioners will continue to be available in the area was welcomed by members of the Implementation Board.
Withybush Hospital Director and Associate Medical Director for Quality and Safety at Hywel Dda Health Board, Dr Iain Robertson-Steel said: “By moving forward with the closure of the Minor Injury Unit at Tenby Hospital, which currently sees a low number of attendances throughout the year, the health board will be able to redeploy our experienced nurse practitioners to enhance the Accident and Emergency Department service at Withybush Hospital for the benefit of urgent patients from across Pembrokeshire.
“Following the summer service pilot, it is clear that the majority of people only attend the unit for very minor injuries or illnesses, which can be dealt with by self care or through primary healthcare such as their GP or a local pharmacy.”
Dr Robertson- Steel added: “We would like remind people about Choose Well which will help you decide if you need medical attention if you get sick.
“For example, community pharmacies are able to give advice and provide over the counter remedies for common conditions such as coughs, colds and allergic reactions.
“Choosing well means that you and your family will get the best treatment. It also allows busy NHS services to help the people who need them most. Your help with this will save lives.”
As part of the campaign leaflets, with an ‘at-a-glance’ fridge magnet, are being distributed to local people and there is also a free downloadable app which details local services. For more information on Choose Well or to download the app please visit www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/choosewell.
Detailed planning will now begin to implement the changes to the service. Ongoing discussions are also taking place with local GPs and community pharmacies and all staff affected are being fully involved and consulted.
The health board will continue to monitor and impact assess the changes during the implementation process.
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