Increased use of Gwent minor injuries unit sustained
5:01pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Gwent news
DAILY attendances at a Gwent minor injuries unit threatened with closure earlier this year, have topped 30 a day throughout the summer.
Last winter, health bosses were considering closing the unit at Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan in Ebbw Vale because daily attendances were way below the minimum 25 a day required.
But an extension of opening hours, and a campaign by the Argus and Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies to raise awareness of the unit and save it from the axe, have resulted in a sustained increase.
The campaign started in May, and during much of the past three months the average daily attendance has been 30-40 patients. It currently stands at 32.
“I’m delighted to see that increased usage is being sustained and more and more people are becoming aware of what is on offer there," Mr Davies.
“Since we launched the campaign, the number of people using the unit has trebled."
The hospital is built on part of the former Ebbw Vale steelworks site, and when it opened almost three years ago, it was the first major development there since the works closed in 2001.
New schools and leisure facilities comprising much of a development known as The Works have opened recently too.
"The hospital and in particular the minor injuries unit is the cornerstone of that development," said Mr Davies.
“It offers the first-rate standard of care that people on Blaenau Gwent deserve, but many people failed to understand the treatment you could receive there.
“At the outset of this campaign, I hoped to raise the profile of the unit and explain what it’s all about.
“People have listened and it’s as a result of their co-operation and understanding that the unit will continue to flourish.”
Aneurin Bevan Health Board has monitored usage at the unit since altering opening hours in March. A spokesman said the figures are being evaluated, with a decision on its future due in the next few weeks.
*The unit, open Monday-Friday, 9am-7pm, can see and treat patients with a range of limb injuries, minor head injuries, burns and scalds, sprains and insect bites, and is emergency nurse practitioner-led, with x-ray cover.
Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan is at Lime Avenue, Ebbw Vale. The correct postcode is NP23 6GL, though on some map systems it can be found by inputting NP23 8XE.
If in doubt whether to attend, contact the unit on 01495 363318.
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