With around 5 million people visiting Devon each summer, the NHS has worked to ensure there are additional services in some tourist hotspots to reduce pressure on our busy emergency departments.
Minor Injuries Units (MIU) and Urgent Treatment Centres (UTC) are located right across the county and are there for people needing urgent medical attention, but not in a life-threatening situation. You can find your nearest MIU or UTC and check their opening hours online.
Treatment starts at home for many conditions, but for more serious sprains, burns, wounds that need stitching and suspected broken limbs you may be treated more quickly in your nearest Minor Injuries Unit or Urgent Treatment Centre.
NHS Devon’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nigel Acheson said: “We want to reassure both our local residents and our visitors that the NHS is committed to providing local urgent care services this summer.
“At peak times up to one quarter of people in our busy emergency departments are visitors to the area.
“In most cases, visitors who are unwell while on holiday here can access help through a pharmacist or their GP back home. Choosing the best service for your condition can help you get support more quickly and reduces pressure on our busy emergency services.”
This summer local residents and visitors in north Devon can access urgent care more easily through:
• A weekend Minor Injuries service (Friday to Monday) from 10am to 6pm with two fully qualified private ambulance staff in the MIU at the Tyrell Hospital, Ilfracombe. This will be available for both walk-ins and patients referred through NHS 111 and runs until early September.
• Also available is ongoing interim GP support to provide a minor injury service (Monday to Friday) in the GP practices nearest the MIUs in Ilfracombe and Bideford. Although these do accept walk-in patients it will be based on capacity and we ask that people call NHS 111 or call ahead to the GP practice first. You may be directed to a more appropriate service for your needs to ensure you get the correct treatment at the right time.
In south Devon, the Minor Injuries Unit at Totnes Community Hospital has reopened in time for the busy summer. Totnes MIU is open seven days a week from 8am to 5pm, X-ray facility is available all day on Monday, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. X-ray continues to be available 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm at Newton Abbot Urgent Treatment Centre.
People can also access support for minor conditions from their local pharmacist who can offer advice and over the counter remedies. Whether it’s sunburn, an insect bite, an upset stomach or earache, a local pharmacy can offer quick and easy assistance for minor conditions. You can find your nearest open pharmacy online here.
Finally, visitors to the area who become unwell or have forgotten a prescription, can access help through their GP back home. They will be able to offer an appointment by telephone or online and can arrange a prescription which can be picked up locally.
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