Increase in numbers attending Ennis Injury Unit

Increase in numbers attending Ennis Injury Unit


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016

There has been an increase in the number of people attending the Local Injury Unit at Ennis General Hospital.

The Ennis Injury Unit is one of 11 now in place across the country. It is open 7 days a week from  8am to 8pm and can treat patients aged 5 and over for a wide variety of injuries such as broken bones, dislocations, sprains ,strains, and minor burns.

Last year over 10,600 patients attended Ennis Injury Unit and the number of patients treated has continued to increase in 2018. A total of 9,582 patients had attended by the end of October 2018, an increase of 5.4% on the corresponding period last year.

Injury Units can treat patients with broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns that are unlikely to need overnight admission to hospital. Staff members take x rays, reduce joint dislocations, apply plaster casts and treat wounds by stitches or other means. They provide swift access to tests and x-rays and some have rapid access to physiotherapy services.  They are staffed by Consultant led teams of doctors, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses, radiographers and physiotherapists.  Patients can go directly to the Unit or be referred by a GP.

“We know from feedback received that patients who use our Injury Units generally have a very positive experience”, according to Dr Gerry McCarthy, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, and Clinical Lead of the National Emergency Medicine Programme. “But we really want to make sure that everyone knows just what our Injury Units do and the efficient and high quality care they will receive when they attend.”

Dr McCarthy added, “Many Injury Units are reporting fast turnaround times for seeing and treating patients. In many cases the average time reported is between 1 and 2 hours and sometimes less, so patients can save themselves long waiting times by attending Injury Units instead of EDs when it is appropriate to do so.”

Explaining that each Unit is linked to a Hub Emergency Department in an acute hospital, Dr McCarthy added, “If a patient in an Injury Unit needs to be admitted to hospital they will be referred directly to a linked hospital, in exactly the same way as if they had attended the Hub Emergency Department. Our Units provide the same level of expertise and service as Emergency Departments, for the appropriate group of patients but they are not designed to treat serious head, back or neck injuries, abdominal (stomach) pain, medical illnesses or mental health problems.  They do not treat children under the age of five, because of the special requirements of young children attending hospital, with some having a higher age threshold. “

There are eleven of these Units across the country including three in the Midwest in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s in Limerick. Approximately one in three of all emergency presentations within UL Hospitals Group now take place within the three Injury Units.

Attendances continue to increase in Ennis , Nenagh and St John’s and the Injury Units have the capacity to do more still.

All three have had consistently good feedback and reaction from the patients they treat.  There is no charge for patients with full medical cards or those patients with valid medical/GP referral letter.

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Ennis Injury Unit, open 8 to 8 daily, is contactable on 065 686 3121.