The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at St Albans City Hospital is to remain closed during May as part of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The MIU closed as a temporary measure on Friday April 3 so that staff could be redeployed to support the care of patients elsewhere within the trust, including COVID-19 patients needing critical care.
Patients needing help with minor injuries can attend the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Hemel Hempstead Hospital. The UTC is open from 8am until 10pm and can treat a wide range of non-emergency illnesses and injuries.
Whilst the number of new COVID-19 cases is decreasing, the clinical needs of current patients are high and staff absence through either sickness of self-isolation also remains higher than normal.
In view of this, the MIU will remain closed and the trust and CCG will review the position at the end of May.
The trust and CCG are working closely together on plans for a safe resumption of some services and urgent care services are part of that.
In the meantime the UTC is able to safely manage any additional capacity resulting from the continued closure of the MIU.
Before attending the UTC, patients with minor injuries are advised to visit https://111.nhs.uk for advice on where to go for their symptoms.
Patients can also call their GP practice for healthcare advice and support.
GPs are working mainly over the telephone or via video consultations at the moment, to help patients and staff stay safe.
GPs can still see patients face-to-face if there is a medical reason to do so but this will be determined by telephone triage or video consultation first.
Patients who have sustained serious injuries and/or are suffering blood loss or a serious deterioration should call 999.
No-one with COVID-19 symptoms should attend any medical setting unless explicitly directed to do by the NHS 111 service or the 999 call operator.