NHS Swindon replies to Val Compton on Minor Injuries Unit

Written by Kirsty Brain Head of Communications NHS Swindon on .

Dear Sirs,

NHS Swindon understands that people may have concerns about any supposed changes to its Primary Care unit (Clover Unit), on the site of the Great Western Hospital.

I am writing to explain that the way the Clover Unit is not changing, rather NHS Swindon would like to make it clear to patients what they can expect from the service provided there, so that the Unit is used appropriately.

I am sure local people would agree the importance of health services being used in the right way so that we are not wasting tax payers money through inappropriate use of funds.

People attending either the Clover Unit or A&E (managed separately) will be assessed upon arrival and if the assessment indicates symptoms are not appropriate for that service, they will be redirected to a service at a more appropriate location.

People who are thinking of attending the Accident & Emergency Department are also being reminded that it’s for life threatening emergencies only.

The Clover Unit treats people with urgent minor injuries. However, the unit is often attended by people who do not have minor injuries – recent examples include broken nails, small insect bites and cuts and grazes.

In addition, those same people had paid to park in the Great Western Hospital car park, which costs them money and causes inconvenience and frustration to patients and visitors to the hospital.

One in four visits to emergency health services could be treated more appropriately, for instance by using another NHS service - such as the NHS Walk-in-Centre service at Carfax Street in Swindon (5 miles from the hospital), any local pharmacy, a GP surgery.

When the patient properly chooses the most appropriate service for treatment, highly trained doctors and nurses are freed up to see people who have a real health problem which might require urgent treatment.

This way, patients can also be seen more quickly.

NHS Swindon is running a campaign for patients and visitors with information on posters around the hospital site, on car parking pay machines and on NHS websites.

We have also asked GP surgeries across Swindon and north Wiltshire to display information and details have also been discussed via local radio and newspapers.

Perhaps, by way of this letter, Marlborough Online can also now help us to raise awareness about choosing health services appropriately.

Kirsty Brain
Head of Communications
NHS Swindon