25 May 2016
NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has recently undertaken a procurement exercise to secure new providers to run minor injury services in the Eastern locality of Devon. There is no change to current Minor Injury Units (MIUs)* provided at Honiton, Exmouth, Axminster or the Urgent Care Centre at Tiverton.
This information outlines the changes in Sidmouth.
National guidance has suggested the development of Urgent Care Centres to replace Minor Injury Units. This new model of much bigger units suits large urban settings, but will not be viable either clinically or financially in many rural areas including our Devon market towns and communities.
The CCG has developed a more bespoke model, linking more closely with GP practices to continue to provide a reliable minor injury service. Across the county, existing providers were offered the opportunity to continue running MIUs until the best models can be determined. In the Eastern locality, understandably Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust , did not feel it was appropriate to continue to run the units following the planned transfer of community services for adults with complex needs in the Eastern locality to the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, and therefore the CCG sought alternative providers.
The Minor Injury Unit in the town is based in Sidmouth Community Hospital, but the unit has been temporarily been closed since November 2015.
Patients needing MIU services during this time will have travelled to Honiton for minor injuries services. We are pleased that we now have agreement that the service will move to the Sid Valley Practice at the Beacon Medical Centre for a 12 month period, until a longer term solution can be found. The service will be managed by the practice and a GP provider organisation called Devon Health. The service will be available to all residents and visitors to the town and surrounding areas. The transfer of the service to the surgery is hoped to provide some more resilience. The minor injury service will be provided by the practice from 1 June 2016.
The minor injury service will be provided from Beacon Medical Centre (part of Sid Valley Practice) between 8.00am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday.
Minor injury services provided by GP practices are available to everyone. Patients do not have to be registered with the practice to use the service, but can be registered with any other practice in the surrounding area, or can be visiting the area for example on holiday or for business.
The CCG is pleased that there is such an interest in supporting minor injury services and looks forward to evaluating the changed models of care. We thank Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust for running these services well for many years, despite recruitment difficulties. It is hoped that the closer connection or indeed integration with the local primary care services, will be of benefit to the residents and visitors in the areas.
We are also grateful to Sid Valley Practice for agreeing to provide this service on a temporary basis.
* Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) provide treatment for less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes and we are pleased to say that minor injury services will continue to be run in these locations.