Health chiefs have reassured patients following a decision to cut the opening hours of Derbyshire’s four minor injury units (MIUs).
As it stands, the MIUs in Buxton, Darley Dale, Ilkeston and Ripley close at 10pm.
However, from Monday July 2 they will all close at 8pm to bring them into line with Derby Urgent Care Centre, which is open between 8am and 8pm.
The change is due to the low number of patients who visit the county’s MIUs between 8pm and 10pm – an average of just five people per hour across all sites. It means, on average, fewer than two people visiting each site per hour between 8pm and 10pm.
Reduced opening hours mean that more staff can be working during busy periods when they are needed most.
Dr Paul Wood, chairman of Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’re working ever more closely with our NHS partners, and social care, to make sure we give all patients equal access to services and avoid duplication or gaps.
“The new times will make the best use of MIU services and coordinate with the opening hours of Derby Urgent Care Centre so people living in the city and across the county get the same access to care.
“The excellent staff at the units are supportive of the new times and we hope this move will help us continue to improve how services are used to best support patients and make the most of all available budgets.”
After 8pm, patients can visit the nearest out-of-hours pharmacist or call 111 for advice or for a referral to an out-of-hours doctor or urgent care services. People can also visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk.
MIUs will still support patients between 8am and 8pm for the following ailments: sprains and strains, broken bones, wound infections, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, insect and animal bites, minor eye injuries, and injuries to the back, shoulder and chest.