A campaign as been launched to remind local residents in Andover to keep using the NHS 111 booking service before attending the Minor Injuries Clinic (MIC) at Andover War Memorial Hospital.
The clinic does not accept walk-ins, instead, patients must access NHS 111 either online or by phone for an assessment as to whether they need an appointment. If so, patients will be given a time slot to attend the local hospital. Members of the public cannot directly book an appointment with the clinic.
The service has been up and running since October 2020 and has recently increased the number of appointment time slots available. A range of expert staff are on hand at the clinic who can now see more patients that need same day medical care.
The clinic is open from 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Outside of these times, members of the public can continue to access care and advice via NHS 111 online and – in an emergency – call 999.
Treatment at the clinic includes treating minor head, facial and eye injuries, foreign body removal, fractures, bites, minor burns, wound assessment and closure, with an X-ray facility on site if required Monday to Friday from 9pm to 5pm, excluding bank holidays.
Members of the public who access NHS 111 may also be directed to their local pharmacist or GP. Urgent and emergency cases will continue to be directed to the emergency department in either Basingstoke or Winchester.
Patients who attend the unit without an appointment will be asked to book a time slot with NHS 111 and return to the unit at their reserved time.
Clinical matron at the MIC, Bernadette Hampton, said: “Our service is run by a specialist team who are working incredibly hard to provide outstanding care and continue to keep patients safe. However, we have seen a rise in the number of walk-ins to the clinic, which in turn increases demand on staff, and this results in longer waiting times for patients to be seen.
“We need the help of the local community to make sure they are accessing the right services in the right way so that we can continue to be there for everyone who needs us.”
Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital in Andover as well as the hospitals in Basingstoke and Winchester, said: “I want to encourage the residents of Andover to keep using the NHS 111 booking system before coming to the unit.
“The booking service is a great step forward in being able to provide local care to the people of Andover.
“NHS 111 staff are friendly, offer free advice and will be able to direct you to the right service for your need as quickly as possible to ensure you get the very best care.”
The minor injuries service was temporarily closed at the beginning of the pandemic but has since been a crucial part of the trust’s response to COVID-19, ensuring patients with minor injuries can get the care they need away from the busy emergency departments in Basingstoke and Winchester.
For more information about the NHS 111 booking service at Andover hospital MIC, visit https://www.hampshirehospitals.nhs.uk/