The creation of a temporary minor injuries unit (MIU) at one of Scotland’s busiest hospitals has had an immediate positive impact.
The development, at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is helping NHS Lothian relieve pressure on the city’s accident and emergency department through the creation of a temporary MIU at the hospital.
The MIU sits alongside the hospital’s A&E and allows it to divert non-urgent cases away from the busy emergency department and was developed by Vanguard Healthcare Solutions, one of the UK’s leading medical technology organisations.
Since opening, between 80 and 100 patients have been treated within the MIU each day. The service is open 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week.
Jim Crombie, deputy chief executive and chief officer of acute services, NHS Lothian, said: “The minor injuries unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is proving to be a great addition to our unscheduled care services in NHS Lothian.
“Between 80 to 100 patients receive swift and effective care in the new unit every day. Our dedicated team works to treat everything from soft tissue injuries to burns, cuts, breaks and sprains.
“While it makes sense for patient care, it also helps to improve patient safety by reducing the numbers of patients in the A&E department to make sure that those with serious and life-threatening injuries and illness are given priority.”
Since the unit opened, the team have been treating a range of minor injuries such as fractures, soft tissue injuries and bites.
Simon Squirrell, regional manager at Vanguard Healthcare Solutions, added: “By consulting with the hospital on their needs in relation to the patient pathway, how many patients they expected to see in the unit and on exactly what the clinical requirements for the unit would be, we were able to propose a bespoke solution.
“This incorporates flexible infrastructure including both mobile and modular elements, created in conjunction with our partner Young Medical, to create an MIU complex which meets the hospital’s specific requirements.
"This end-to-end consultation process means we have created a solution for NHS Lothian which provides a complete clinical environment where patients can be booked in, prepared, have their treatment and recover, providing a seamless experience for the patient.
"The finished result offers a reception and waiting area, treatment room, plaster room, eye wash room, six treatment bays, clean and dirty utility spaces, lavatories and a changing room.
"The unit will be in place for at least two years and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Serving a population of more than 500,000 people, the hospital’s A&E provides a vital function. The new MIU will be connected to the existing department via a purpose-built walkway.
The clinical unit was driven and unloaded onto the pre-determined location and the modular ward from Young Medical was lifted into position on site by crane. Vanguard will also be providing a full-time facilitator on-site to work alongside the hospital’s own team.