Health experts in Devon are reminding people about the help available if they have a minor injury.
Generally, GP practices close during the weekends and bank holidays, but there are alternatives for non-emergency conditions – leaving hospital accident and emergency departments free to deal with the most serious cases.
The best place for urgent but not life-threatening injuries is the local minor injuries unit (MIU) or walk-in Centre (WIC), and you don’t need an appointment.
There are three minor injury units in Western Devon
In Western Devon, there are three MIUs: the Cumberland Centre in Devonport; Tavistock Hospital and South Hams Hospital, where you can be treated for a range of minor injuries, including:
- Small burns or scalds
- Bites and stings
- Sprains and certain fractures
- Minor head injuries
- Infected wounds
- Foreign bodies in eyes
- Itchy rashes
You don’t need an appointment and you shouldn’t have to wait very long to be seen
Diane Oliver, matron at the Cumberland Centre in Devonport, said: “If you or your loved ones find yourself with a minor injury, don’t forget that you can visit us at the Cumberland Centre. You don’t need an appointment and you shouldn’t have to wait very long to be seen.
“Our nursing staff have received specialist training to enable them to see and treat patients for a number of conditions.
“We also have an X-ray facility to help us diagnose any broken bones (arms and legs only), that we can then treat with a plaster cast if necessary.”
Alternatively, call the free NHS 111 helpline. It is manned 24 hours a day, every day, and the trained staff will advise you of the best treatment for your needs.
This is important if your young child is unwell, because MIUs are generally not equipped to treat children under the age of two.
Cumberland Centre, Damerel Close, Devonport, Plymouth, PL1 4JZ
Tavistock Hospital, Spring Hill, Tavistock, PL19 8LD
South Hams Hospital, Plymouth Road, Kingsbridge, TQ7 1AT