Two-thirds of patients attending the revamped Ely Minor Injuries Unit say they’d have travelled to Accident & Emergency, had the service not been saved from closure.
This staggering figure is revealed in a just released report by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group.
Spotted in Ely launched a campaign in July 2016 to #saveourminorinjuriesunit, after a leaked memo revealed plans to close the Minor Injuries Unit.
Following a massive public outcry, the CCG decided that rather than shut down the MIU, it would pilot it as a Local Urgent Care Services (LUCS) hub, with extended services.
Since May 2017, when the Ely LUCS was launched, staff have seen almost 13,500 patients – an increase on previous years.
A CCG review found that two-thirds of patients interviewed would have gone to A&E, had the service not been available – at a time when overstretched A&E units are asking people to stay away unless they need urgent attention.
Ely childminder Nicky Evans said she would have had no option but to travel to Cambridge when she recently experienced breathing difficulties. Fortunately she was able to attend Ely LUCS instead.
“After seeing a doctor and using a nebuliser, I was given a prescription and advised to see an asthma nurse. I have now been diagnosed as an asthma sufferer.”
Her son Stanley, six, also attended the centre after a fall.
“He had to have the skin around his eye glued and the nurses were fantastic with him. It’s great to have this service on our doorstep as previously we would have had to go to A&E at Addenbrookes.”
Two-thirds of patients visiting the Ely LUCS were treated immediately without any follow-up treatment required.
Ambulance crews can now call the LUCS GP for clinical advise and take patients to the MIU to be assessed, rather than to A&E.
The CCG review found that during the winter months, from December 2017 to February 2018, there was a 6% rise in patients attending the Ely LUCS hub, compared to the same period the year before.
Since May 2017 staff have treated 417 sprains, 306 finger injuries, 197 minor eye injuries and 192 minor head injuries.
They’ve also dealt with 170 wrist injuries, 126 cases of earache, 107 chest infections and 101 foot injuries.