WHEN Malvern Community Hospital’s new Minor Injuries Unit was officially opened this afternoon, Monday,it had already treated its first two patients.

The MIU, which is based at the hospital in Lansdowne Crescent, was opened when long-time hospital campaigner Pat Marrick joined staff at the hosptal for a ribbon cutting ceremony and a tour of the newly opened facilities.

The new unit will treat patients with a wide range of injuries including cuts, grazes, wounds, sprains, strains, fractured and broken bones, minor burns and scalds and minor head injuries. This means patients in Malvern will no longer have to travel to the A & E department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital to get treatment.

“It is a great achievement to have this place opened and wonderful that patients will be able to get treatment here in Malvern,” said Pat Merrick, adding that there was a real demand for the unit.

Mrs Merrick, of Malvern Community Hospital’s League of Friends, said she was delighted that the MIU was opening now even before Malvern’s new hospital was built.

“A minor injuries unit is planned for the new hospital but there is a need for it now and I am really pleased to see it open and ready to treat patients here in Malvern,” she added.

The new MIU is located on the site of the Lansdowne Crescent hospital’s former Casualty department, which closed in 1992, despite a campaign by local people to keep it open. The unit will be staffed by a team of five nurse practitioners who all have experience and training in acute and minor injury care and also experience of caring for children.

It will be open from 9am until 9pm seven days a week and will include X-ray facilities Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Matron of Malvern Community Hospital Lin Ingles said:”I’m very excited about this new development, it will be a great service for Malvern. I’ve wanted to have a Minor Injury Unit at the hospital since I arrived here three years ago.”

She said the hospital really appreciated the enthusiasm and support of the public and the League of Friends, both for the new MIU and their continued efforts to raise money for the new Malvern hospital which will open next year.

Manager of the new MIU Lee Manning said:”Opening the new MIU prior to the opening of the new hospital will answer some of the needs of the local community.”

The unit, which has two treatment rooms and a waiting area is being funded by Worcestershire Primary Care Trust with the League of Friends also contributing to purchase essential new equipment including a defibrilator, heart rate monitor, and treatment trolleys.