NHS rolls out minor injuries video consultations to reduce hospital visits

A new service to offer minor injury consultations over video call has been rolled out across NHS Lothian, with a view to being extended to NHS Forth Valley and Fife.

Acute nurse director at NHS Lothian, Gillian McAuley
Acute nurse director at NHS Lothian, Gillian McAuley

Call MIA aims to reduce overcrowding in hospital waiting areas and reduce the spread of Covid-19 as winter approaches.

The service was successfully trialled at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh from April, and received over 1,000 calls in six months.

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Call MIA has now has now been extended to include all minor injuries services across the Lothians including the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

Patients calling the number will receive a confidential video call with a Minor Injuries Nurse Practitioner.

The service provides advice on a wide range of injuries, less than 14 days old, from sprains, cuts and burns to suspected broken bones.

It is available seven days a week between 8am and 9pm, by calling 0300 790 6267 The service is open to children over the age of eight and adults of all ages who live in Lothian.

“We’re asking anyone with a minor injury to Call MIA first” said Gillian McAuley, Acute Nurse Director responsible for introducing the service.

A qualified nurse will advise if you can self-treat the injury or with the help of a local pharmacy. If you need to go to a minor injury service, you’ll be given an appointment, so you don’t need to wait when you attend. All of this can be done from the comfort of your home or workplace.”

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Call MIA can support patients with injuries including: strains, sprains and suspected broken bones; wounds and burns; damage to joints ligaments, muscles, nerves and tendons; minor bumps to head and face; eye injuries and insect bites and stings.

If successful in NHS Lothian, it will also be rolled out in Fife and Forth Valley.

Dr Tracey Gillies, Medical Director of NHS Lothian said: “Not everyone with a minor injury needs to be seen in person. Call MIA provides an extremely valuable service for patients, helping people to access the right care in the right place, and get help quicker and closer to home where possible.

“As we approach winter it will be essential in reducing overcrowding in hospital waiting areas and keeping patients and staff safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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