The Light Injury Unit (MIU) at Swansea's Singleton Hospital will be closed from Monday to spring as a neighboring unit is undergoing a major overhaul.
The Singleton Assessment Unit (SAU) will be relocated temporarily to another part of the hospital, Ward 20, because the high-performance renovation work can not be safely performed alongside the patient.
The relocation of the SAU, however, has implications for the hospital's minor injury department, which is located next to the SAU.
The Light Injuries Unit will be closed from Monday, 12 November until Spring 2019.
The opening hours of the MIU are weekdays from 08:00 to 20:00 and on weekends from 08:00 to 13:00. At doctors it is occupied by family physicians. For some time, however, it has been difficult to reliably occupy the unit.
The MIU had to close at very short notice, because there were no family doctors for the shifts and it was recently closed every Sunday for 17 weeks.
Patients can not be informed about short-term closures, so some come to them and find them closed.
So far, SAU staff have been able to help when needed, but during refurbishment they will be several stories high and located in another part of the hospital.
The ABMU Health Board notes that there is not enough room in MI 20 to relocate MIU. It is therefore not an option to bring both services together.
Doctors are therefore concerned about safety risks for MIU patients who might arrive to find a single unit and no one who can help them.
GP Dr. med. Stephen Greenfield said, "We firmly believe that it is safest to shut down MIU while SAU rehabilitation is in progress and to reopen it in the spring once work is completed.
"While the vast majority of patients who use MIU suffer from minor ailments, there is a very real danger that if someone arrives who needed emergency care for a serious illness and closed it, there was no one to help them ,
"If this happened during the opening of the SAU, the SAU staff could arrange a distress transfer to Morriston Hospital. However, this is not an option if SAU employees have moved elsewhere.
"That's why it's safer to temporarily shut down MIU completely.
"We can then ensure that we do everything possible to warn people, including a communication campaign, changing our signs, changing website information, etc.
"Once the work is completed, the MIU reopens."
Rehabilitation of the Singleton Assessment Unit (SAU)
The Singleton Assessment Unit (SAU) is a doorstep service that deals with sick patients who are referred directly by general practitioners and other community health workers.
It also receives patients who are rated by the ambulance service as not having 999 emergencies but who still need to undergo acute medical examination or hospital admission.
The SAU records approximately 8,500 medical interventions each year and is now undergoing significant improvements over the next four to five months due to the concerns of the ABM Community Health Council and the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales regarding the design and overall structure of the unit.
The £ 300,000 work includes the construction of state-of-the-art new toilets, redesigning the layout to make it easier for nurses to care for patients, improve infection control and storage facilities, and create additional space for non-clinical support staff to help patients more Free up space.
The demand for Singleton's SAU is increasing: 16% more patients arrived last winter compared to 2016-17.
Which service is to be used while the singleton MIU is closed
While MIU Singleton is closed, patients are being educated about alternative services, including the Light Injuries Department at Neath Port Talbot Hospital and the emergency department at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
You can also call the free 111 service anytime.
Recent developments at the hospital include an investment of £ 340,000 in a comprehensive assessment service for the elderly and a £ 230,000 early-assisted discharge service for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a respiratory disease.
Following the upgrade of the SAU and the reopening of MIU, Singleton Hospital Health Services and physicians will begin an engagement exercise to discuss further ways to improve emergency care services in the hospital.