Skip to Main Content Skip to Site Map Skip to Accessibility Statement

New Minor Injuries Unit officially opened at Altnagelvin Hospital


Minor Injuries Unit, Altnagelvin, Official Opening (1)

The new Minor Injuries Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital, which was officially opened today, is already having “a hugely positive impact for patients,” according to the Western Trust’s Director of Acute Services, Geraldine McKay.

The new unit has successfully seen, treated and discharged more than two thousand patients since it came into service two months ago, with patients suffering from minor injuries experiencing a much quicker turnaround and more comfortable environment than if they had attended the main Emergency Department. To date all minor injury patients have been triaged, assessed, treated and discharged within the agreed standard.

Speaking at the official opening of the new unit, Western Trust Director of Unscheduled Care, Medicine, Cancer and Clinical Services, Geraldine McKay, said:

Minor Injuries Unit, Altnagelvin, Official Opening (2)“The Minor Injuries Unit has quickly established itself as a key service here at the Altnagelvin site, and has helped relieve some of the immense pressure on our Emergency Department, allowing ED to focus on those with the most life-threatening illnesses and injuries. This new Minor Injuries Unit provides timely care in much more suitable surroundings, especially for children and young people including the opening of the new plain film xray room.

“Today’s official opening marks the conclusion of many months of hard work and significant investment to bring this project to fruition. My thanks go to all the staff across the organisation who have brought us to this point, and I know our new Minor Injuries stream will continue to have a positive impact for those who need to avail of it.”

The new Minor Injuries Unit is led by Emergency Nurse Practitioners and other nursing staff, with oversight from Clinicians from the main Emergency Department, and is operational from 8.00am to 9.00pm each day.

Minor Injuries Unit, Altnagelvin, Official Opening (3)Some of the most common injuries which can be treated in the new Minor Injuries Unit include:

  • Minor head injuries.
  • Facial injuries including foreign bodies in the eyes or nose.
  • Upper and lower limb injuries including fractures, dislocations, bruises and sprains.
  • Uncomplicated wounds.
  • Bites, burns and scalds.

The Minor Injuries stream is a Phone First led service. The Phone First service is designed for patients, including children, who are considering travelling to an Emergency Department or Minor Injury Unit with an injury that requires urgent treatment but is not immediately life threatening.

When you call the Phone First service your condition, or that of the person you are calling on behalf of, will be clinically assessed and arrangements made for you to access the most appropriate service to your needs. This will also include recommending a time to attend, helping minimise waiting times and allowing clinicians to provide the best levels of care for those attending.

The ‘Phone First’ number to ring is 0300 020 6000 while the ‘Phone First’ text relay number is 0870 240 5152. Phone First operates from 8.00am to midnight each day, including weekends and public holidays.

Minor Injuries Unit, Altnagelvin, Official Opening (4)The creation of the new Minor Injuries Unit has been funded as part of the No More Silos project, which aims to reduce the volume of people visiting Emergency Departments by providing alternative pathways to treatment.

The opening of the new unit at Altnagelvin means that there are now separate Minor Injuries streams at all three of the Western Trust’s hospital sites, with Altnagelvin taking its place alongside existing services at South West Acute Hospital and at Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.