South Tyrone Minor Injuries Unit busiest in the North

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South Tyrone’s Minor Injuries Unit has treated 25.666 patients in the past year, the highest rate for any similar unit in Northern Ireland.

In fact, it is estimated that up to a quarter of minor injuries in the North come to the Dungannon hospital, which has seen a staggering 37 percent rise in attendances since 2011.

Over the same period of time, attendance at other minor injury units declined.

Downe Minor Injuries Unit had the next highest annual total of patients, 18,586, down from 22,064 in 2011, while the Whiteabbey unit saw the fewest, 6,741.

The latest figures, released by the Department of Health, reveal that 100 percent of the South Tyrone patients were seen within four hours.

By comparison, only 78% of Craigavon’s Casualty Unit patients were treated within four hours, with 13 patients having to wait more than twelve hours for emergency treatment.

Royal Victoria Hospital’s A&E department had the worst record, with only 59% of patients seen within four hours. The number of patients waiting over 12 hours at emergency departments in Northern Ireland has more than doubled in the past year.

According to the Southern Trust, which operates South Tyrone Hospital, the majority of its patients were assessed, treated and discharged within one hour.

The trust added that the service is provided by emergency nurse practitioners, nursing staff and health care assistants and is open every day from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, including Bank Holidays and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

The unit has purpose-built facilities and ready access to a range of support services within the hospital and community, including x-ray, pharmacy and outpatient clinics.