19 December 2018
By Mary Bermingham
The HSE has 11 Injury Units now in place across the country with three located in Cork, which have been open since 2012. By the end of October 2018, 26,536 patients have been treated at the Injury Units in Cork.
Bantry Injury Unit (opened in July 2013)
Mallow Injury Unit (opened in March 2013)
The Mercy Injury Unit (opened in March 2012)
Injury Units can treat patients with broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns that are unlikely to need overnight admission to hospital. The Units provide swift access to tests and x-rays, and some have rapid access to physiotherapy services, and are staffed by Consultant led teams of doctors, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses, radiographers and physiotherapists. Patients can go directly to the Unit or be referred by a GP.
– Bantry Injury Unit, located on the grounds of Bantry General Hospital is open seven days a week from 8am to 7.30pm and can treat patients aged 5 and over. In 2017, over 5,000 patients were treated in Bantry Injury Unit. Latest figures showing that over 4,954 patients were treated in the unit by the end of October 2018.
– Mallow Injury Unit, located on the grounds of Mallow General Hospital, is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm, and can treat patients aged 5 and over. In 2017, over 6,000 patients attended Mallow Injury Unit. Latest figures showing that almost 5,529 patients were treated in the unit by the end of October 2018.
– The Mercy Injury Unit, located in Gurranabraher, is open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm and can treat patients aged 10 and over. In 2017, over 18,000 patients attended the Mercy Injury Unit. Latest figures showing that over 16,053 patients were treated in the unit by the end of October 2018.
The feedback from a recent survey shows that patients are very satisfied with the services provided in our Injury Units with 91% of respondents rating the service as excellent or very good. The survey found that 33% of respondents got their injury playing sports, 31% injured themselves at home, and 10% injured themselves at work. Comments from patients included:
– From start to finish I was treated in a very efficient way on a personal level and medical level from reception to nurse to doctor thank you
– Excellent service it would be great if it opened weekends
– I don’t think people realise how good this department is
– Friendly and efficient staff great with kids fast and professional
Dr. Gerry McCarthy, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, and Clinical Lead of the National Emergency Medicine Programme said: “We know from feedback received that patients who use our Injury Units generally have a very positive experience. But we really want to make sure that everyone knows just what our Injury Units do and the efficient and high quality care they will receive when they attend.”
Dr McCarthy added, “Many Injury Units are reporting fast turnaround times for seeing and treating patients. In many cases the average time reported is between 1 and 2 hours and sometimes less so patients can save themselves long waiting times by attending Injury Units instead of EDs when it is appropriate to do so.”
Explaining that each Unit is linked to a Hub Emergency Department in an acute hospital, Dr McCarthy added, “If a patient in an Injury Unit needs to be admitted to hospital they will be referred directly to a linked hospital, in exactly the same way as if they had attended the Hub Emergency Department. Our Units provide the same level of expertise and service as Emergency Departments, for the appropriate group of patients but they are not designed to treat serious head, back or neck injuries, abdominal (stomach) pain, medical illnesses or mental health problems. They do not treat children under the age of five, because of the special requirements of young children attending hospital, with some having a higher age threshold.”
There are eleven of these Units across the country including Bantry Injury Unit, Mallow Injury Unit and The Mercy Injury Units. All have had consistently good feedback and reaction from the patients they treat. There is no charge for patients with full medical cards or those patients with valid medical/GP referral letter.