We provide high quality healthcare services primarily to the residents of East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen, which have a combined population in the region of 530,000.
Local health bosses have announced that the minor injuries unit will reopen at Accrington Victoria Community Hospital later this month.
The services were suspended in January by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust as the number of inpatients fighting Coronavirus soared to an all-time peak.
The Trust implemented surge plans to cope with demand and redeployed staff from Accrington to care for people in other settings.
The Trust said that although demand for services remained high and it continued to treat around 250 inpatients infected with the virus each day, it would reopen the unit on February 22.
Sharon Gilligan, Chief Operating Officer at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We suspended minor injuries at Accrington Victoria in January when we were caring for a very high number of inpatients with Covid and really struggling to find enough staff to safely look after them. Staffing remains fragile for us at both Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and Burnley General but, as the level of community infections continues to reduce and hospital admissions follow, I am confident that we can reopen the unit safely.
“I want to reassure local people that whilst we have had to take some very difficult decisions in recent months around services and elective surgery, we are reviewing this every day and where we can restore them, we will.”
The Trust took the decision in conjunction with colleagues from East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group to temporarily close the Minor Injuries Unit at Accrington Victoria Community Hospital due to an increase in demand for urgent and emergency care services and a higher than normal number of clinical staff who were absent from work due to sickness and Covid-19 related reasons.
Dr David White, GP and Emergency Care Lead for East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) said: “The CCG’s and ELHT are dedicated to providing the best possible care where it is needed. We are delighted that we are now in a position to reinstate this service to the residents of not only Hyndburn, but the surrounding areas also.
“To help us to do this, it is important that people consider all of the healthcare options that are available to ensure that they receive the right treatment, in the right place, at the right time. This may be self-medication where appropriate, an appointment with your GP, speaking to your local pharmacist, NHS 111 or NHS online services or the emergency dental line for urgent dental problems.
“Please also be reminded that you should not be attending any health care settings, including pharmacies and GP practices if you are displaying symptoms of or have tested positive for Covid-19, or if you have been instructed to self-isolate.”
The minor injuries service will be open 7 days a week from 8am until 8.30pm for minor injuries only such as:
· sprains and strains
· broken bones
· wound infections
· minor burns and scalds
· minor head injuries
· insect and animal bites
· minor eye injuries
· injuries to the back, shoulder and chest