Last year we asked people to tell us their thoughts and experiences, both good and bad, of Cornwall’s minor injury services provided by 25 GP practices that offer this as part of a Locally Enhanced Service (LES).
The LES was established to provide a minor injury unit (MIU) type service to patients in GP practices that were more than three miles away from a MIU or emergency department. They are primarily there to serve their registered patients, rather than walk-ins. Some also accept temporary residents, such as holiday makers.
A review of the GP Minor Injury Local Enhance Service (GP MIU LES) is required to inform the future model and configuration of urgent care services. The feasibility of enhancing GP provision will be explored so people have increased local access and only have to travel to another service when necessary.
The GP MIU LES is well used service that offers a much needed alternative to minor injury units or the emergency department, especially for people who are more isolated from central locations. It is a service that is valued by both the practices that deliver it, and people who use it.
We invited people to complete an online survey so we could understand people’s experiences of using the service. This survey was promoted on social media, via the press and through our patient participation groups and Citizens Advisory Panel. We received 174 responses.
We asked people if:
- They knew what an MIU is?
- They had ever used the service?
- They knew where their nearest MIU is?
- They knew that some GP practices are able to treat minor injuries?
- They would prefer to go to a GP to treat a minor injury, or if they would prefer to use an MIU?
- They would use a minor injury service if it were available at their practice?
- They had any thoughts on when the service should be open?
- They had thoughts on what aspects would be most important when choosing where to go for minor injury services?
It is clear from the survey that the people who responded are fully aware of what constitutes a minor injury, such as cuts, burns, sprains, minor fractures, bites and strings, and knew where to go for their care.
We are now reviewing the results, and what people told us will directly influence a review of the service, and assess how it forms part of the wider urgent care service in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, including onward referrals to urgent or emergency care services. It will also provide recommendations for improvement and future commissioning of the service. We will publish a report once this has been completed.