A new two-month pilot has been launched to help patients who have suffered minor fractures or broken bones to receive all their treatment during a single hospital visit.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has launched the new service so people who suffer minor breaks to their hands, arms, feet and legs can get all treatment at their initial attendance rather than making a follow-up visit to a fracture clinic.
for the many people who have a minor break, they can be expertly treated on their first visit to hospitalMr A.N. Murty, consultant orthopaedic surgeon
Staff at North Tyneside General Hospital have received additional training to be able to fit splints and slings.
Mr AN Murty, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the trust, said: “Whereas our fracture clinics are imperative for people who have suffered a more serious fracture and need to be seen by a specialist, for the many people who have a minor break, they can be expertly treated on their first visit to hospital.”
“We would like to reassure residents that if they have any questions about their fracture they can ring our helpline for help and advice.”
Patients are reviewed in a ‘virtual clinic’ the next day by specialist trauma nurses and orthopaedic consultants who assess the treatment given.
If, for any reason, a patient needs to be seen by a specialist trauma nurse or consultant, an appointment will be made for a fracture clinic.
Ian Joy, matron for emergency care at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Our intention is always to deliver care locally whenever this is safe to do so and this new service will save people travelling out of their area, or having to make a separate journey.
“Our emergency nurse practitioners in our community and general hospitals are already highly-skilled and able to deal with a whole host of minor injuries, ailments and illnesses.
“By enhancing their skills even further, people with minor fractures or broken bones can now benefit from receiving all their treatment on their first visit to hospital and without an unnecessary separate journey the next day.”
Ian added: “As we move towards the opening of our Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in June which will treat people who are seriously ill or injured, the launch of this pilot acts as a timely reminder of the services available to residents in their own communities.”
The helpline number – (01670) 529431 – is open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. For urgent advice outside of these hours, patients can contact North Tyneside General Hospital on (0191) 293 2515.