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St Albans Minor Injuries Unit to close temporarily as part of COVID-19 response

The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at St Albans City Hospital will close temporarily from the end of business on Friday to allow West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust to direct clinical staff to treat its sickest patients.

With fewer than ten people a day attending the St Albans MIU over the last week, West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust has decided to redirect these skilled staff to support its response to the COVID-19 outbreak. They will either be caring for patients who are very unwell or filling in for colleagues who are now working in newly created areas for patients suffering from severe COVID-19 symptoms.

The MIU will therefore close at its normal time of 8pm on Friday 3 April and will remain closed for at least the whole of April. Given the recently low attendances the temporary closure is not expected to present problems for large numbers of local people. It will reopen when circumstances permit.

Patients with minor injuries should visit https://111.nhs.uk, the 111 online service. This will provide advice on where a patient should go for their symptoms. People should only phone 111 if they cannot get online.

Those patients who feel that they need a GP appointment should call their local GP practice and they are likely to be offered a phone or video consultation in the first instance, unless a face-to-face appointment is necessary. Patients who have sustained serious injuries and/or are suffering blood loss or a serious deterioration should call 999.

No-one with COVID-19 symptoms should attend any medical setting unless explicitly directed to do by the NHS 111 service or the 999 call operator.

Christine Allen, Chief Executive of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust says: “Our top priority – as we respond to the challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak – is to focus our efforts on caring for our sickest patients. This means that we are constantly reviewing our services, with the aim that as many clinical staff as possible are available for those who need our care the most.”

“We hope that everyone will appreciate and support all the efforts being made to focus our resource on where it is most needed.” 

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