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Practices to take on minor injuries work as plans for specialist unit are shelved

GPs in South Gloucestershire are likely to deal with minor injuries including minor fractures, minor burns and scalds as part of a pilot scheme, after the health secretary vetoed plans for a minor injury unit in a local hospital.

NHS South Gloucestershire CCG said that, under its proposals, ‘additional staffing and resources will be put in place to provide the necessary extra capacity’ so minor injuries services could be delivered by practice-based nurses supported by GPs.

It comes after Jeremy Hunt decided in June that a proposed unit at the Cossham Hospital would not be built, despite 18,000 residents signing a petition in favour of it, and 250 people demonstrating at the council offices in Kingswood.

The CCG announced the plans this week, which would see practices treating injuries including sprains and strains, cuts and grazes, minor fractures, minor burns and scalds, bites, minor eye injuries and minor head injuries.

It would not treat those needing plastering or crutches, or experiencing severe breathlessness, severe abdominal paint, severe chest pain or strokes.

The services would be available within normal GP opening hours, from 8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, though the CCG is considering extending the service to outside of these hours.

NHS South Gloucestershire CCG will make a formal decision on whether to proceed with the pilot in September.

Dr Ann Sephton, deputy clinical chair and lead for emergency and urgent care at NHS South Gloucestershire CCG, said: ‘People have told us they want better access to their GP practices and better access to urgent care services in the community. This new service aims to deliver both – through a GP practice-based model delivered at surgeries throughout South Gloucestershire.

‘We believe our proposal is the best and most cost-effective option for improving local access to minor injury services in South Gloucestershire.’