Attendances at our Emergency Department at Royal Blackburn Hospital and Urgent Care Centre at Burnley General Hospital remain very high. Next week, on 26th and 27th April, junior doctors are taking industrial action which will include withdrawal of emergency care between 8.00am and 5.00pm on both days. This is the first time any hospital will have had to respond to a scenario of this type. Consequently, it is important that we take all actions necessary to ensure that we collectively and proactively maintain our ability to see and treat the most critically ill patients as a priority.
Therefore, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust together with Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups, have agreed another short term temporary closure of the Minor Injuries Unit at Accrington Victoria Community Hospital (AVCH). This will be effective from Monday 25th April at 8.00am until Thursday 28th April when the unit will re-open at 8.00am.
This temporary measure means that staff from the Minor Injuries Unit at Accrington can move to support their colleagues at our Burnley and Blackburn sites. During the last round of strikes, we took this action and it did have a significant and positive impact by providing our Emergency Department with additional support – enabling us to prioritise and focus on the most ill patients and manage demand. All other services at Accrington Victoria Community Hospital, including the Health Access Centre (HAC), will operate as normal during this period.
These decisions are taken after much consideration, with due care for the safety of patients and to ensure we respond to those with the most urgent needs.
There are a number of available and suitable alternatives to Accrington Victoria Community Hospital Minor Injuries Unit. These include visiting your GP or Primary Care Centre; the Minor Injuries Unit at Rossendale Health Centre or the Urgent Care Centres at Burnley General Hospital and Royal Blackburn Hospital. If patients are unsure which service to attend they can also call 111 for assistance. In the event of a real medical emergency, patients should call an ambulance or arrange to attend our Emergency Department at Blackburn.