Patients will once again be able to access treatment for minor injuries at Andover War Memorial Hospital, from 1 October 2020.
The service will be delivered through a minor injuries clinic, where patients will be able to directly book into the next available slot using NHS 111. The service will include the treatment of minor fractures, lacerations, and access to X-ray.
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital in Andover alongside the two hospitals in Basingstoke and Winchester, has been working closely with other health partners to restore services following the impact of COVID-19.
The clinic will sit within the footprint of the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU), and will run from 8.15am – 6.45pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours, members of the public can continue to access care and advice via NHS 111 online and – in an emergency – 999.
The service will be run by a small specialist team, and patients can access this care through bookable appointments only - a walk-in service is not available because of the need to protect patients and staff from the risk of COVID-19, and patients must arrange their appointment through the 111 service.
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue to restore activity in Andover. Earlier this year we had to rapidly change how we ran our services to respond to COVID-19, to ensure we could provide the best possible care to our patients.
“This included the temporary closure of the minor injuries unit at our hospital in Andover. Since then, in addition to continuing to care for patients in the hospital, Andover staff have played a crucial role across our other sites; we couldn’t have done it without them.
“The minor injuries clinic will look slightly different to what was previously in place, as it will be a pre-booked service only, booked through 111. It is, however, a great step forward in being able to provide local care to the people of Andover and the team are delighted to be returning to doing the roles they love.
“Nationally there are exciting developments happening to the 111 service, and by moving to a bookable service, this is a chance for Andover to be part of the national 111 developments. We continue to work hard with our partners to develop opportunities to expand local care in Andover going forward.”
Dr Rachel Hickson, Andover GP and West Hampshire CCG Clinical Lead for Transforming Emergency Care in Winchester and Mid Hants, said: “This is terrific news. We know that people living in the area really value this service, and will be relieved to know that minor injuries can be treated locally again.
“The CCG has worked closely with Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to support the effort to re-start this service, and we will continue to work together after 1 October to make sure patients are getting the best possible care.
“Despite the need to bring in the temporary closure of the service during the initial COVID-19 phase, we were always determined to ensure that we restored the treatment of minor injuries in Andover as soon as it was possible to do so safely.”