Minor injuries unit hailed as ‘positive step’ towards reducing waiting times

A new minor injuries unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh will help reduce waiting times for patients, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has said.

The facility, funded by a £3.8 million investment by NHS Lothian, was opened in January with the target of reducing the number of people attending accident and emergency.

It has six treatment bays, a treatment room and a plaster room, as well as a reception and waiting area.

The unit also has a dedicated entrance, with patients encouraged to self-refer directly to minor injuries on arrival, and it is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On a visit to the unit on Thursday, Ms Freeman said: “This new unit is a great addition to complement the A&E services at the Royal Infirmary.

“It will help to reduce the number of people attending A&E by ensuring patients are directed to the most appropriate care for them. This in turn means that people are not waiting longer than they should be for treatment.

“Our £850 million waiting times improvement plan sets out our aim to significantly improve the experience of patients waiting to be seen or treated. The new unit at the Royal Infirmary is a positive step towards achieving this.”

Jim Crombie, 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 accident and emergency department to make sure that those with serious and life-threatening injury and illness are given priority.”

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