The spotlight fell on Cirencester Hospital’s Minor Injuries and Illness Unit this week when it received a visit from a local TV news crew covering the UK’s ongoing heatwave.
BBC Points West’s Scott Ellis broadcast live from the MIIU at lunchtime on Thursday 26 July, reporting on how the hot weather is putting pressure on medical services across the West.
Cirencester Hospital’s MIIU has seen a 60 per cent increase in the number of patients coming through its doors since the heatwave began, with between 60 and 70 people a day seeking treatment for a range of injuries, such as insect bites and burns from barbecues.
Matron of countywide minor injury and illness units Lee Iddles talked through the impact the current hot weather is having on Gloucestershire’s MIIUs.
“We’re keeping our staffing levels as high as possible and have a triage system in place,” she said. “So we’re making sure that when patients arrive we can assess their need for treatment and prioritise.
“We are seeing a lot of insect bites, grazes and swimming pool-related injuries. We’re also treating patients who have injured themselves working in their gardens – particularly those who have chosen to forego protective clothing due to the heat. We’ve even seen a couple of snake bites.”
The NHS is keen for the public to seek out the appropriate service for ailments and concerns and is asking members of the public to consider using NHS 111 or pharmacies.
Lee added: “Your pharmacist possesses a wealth of knowledge and can dispense advice on a wide range of minor injuries and ailments, as well as supply creams, tablets and other medications for minor injuries such as bites and stings.
“If you’re worried about a medical concern, you can also call 111 and speak to a fully trained adviser.”