A NEW system of treating people with minor injuries in Gibraltar in a separate queue has slashed waiting times at the A&E ward of St Bernard’s Hospital.
The new Minor Injuries Unit started its trial in April has and has already seen patients discharged in an average time of just over an hour, the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) said in a statement.
A total of 440 patients have got attention at the new dedicated area inside the Accident and Emergency Ward of Gibraltar’s only hospital.
The GHA thinks half of patients attending A&E can be seen at the Minor Injuries Unit.
It replaces the old triage system where everyone had to wait in a general queue to be seen by a doctor or nurse.
Only the most serious patients would be given priority, forcing those with small injuries to wait in line, often for hours.
Now nurses and doctors wait to find out the problem in a consultation room before a treatment room attends to the wound or ailment.
Broken bones, sprains, burns and infections will all be treated there, along with coughs, bites and skin problems.
The unit also allows senior medics to concentrate on life-threatening conditions.
“The significance of this unit is that minor injuries and illness can now be fast-tracked and seen directly by a Nurse Practitioner,” A&E consultant Raj Nagaraj said. “This has greatly expanded the clinical services that can be provided as urgent care to patients with non-life-threatening injuries.”
GHA Director General, Patrick Geoghegan, added: “This is about allowing the incredible staff at A&E to work in a modern and smart way.
“With this restructured pathway, patients can be triaged in a way that allows them to be seen in the quickest way that is appropriate for their case, and allow for the best treatment possible.”
The GHA also introduced a new mobile health unit to treat elderly people in their homes.