From past experience, we can anticipate that the Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centres at Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital will see exceptionally high demand for services over the Christmas and New Year holiday period and in the early weeks of January. Although health and social care partners are working together to maximise the availability of services, we know that demand will be high due to increasing circulating illness over the winter period.
So that we continue to see the most critically ill patients as a priority, East Lancashire Hospitals, Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups, have all agreed to a short term closure of the Minor Injuries Unit at Accrington Victoria Community Hospital (AVCH). This will be effective from Saturday 24th December 2016 to Tuesday 27th December 2016 inclusive and Saturday 31st December 2016 to Monday 2nd January inclusive.
The MIU will be open as usual from 8am to 8.30pm on Wednesday 28th December 2016, Thursday 29th December 2016, and Friday 30th December 2016 and fully operational again on a 7 day basis from 8am on Tuesday 3rd January.
This temporary measure means that staff from the Minor Injuries Unit at Accrington can move to support their colleagues at the Burnley Urgent Care Centre and Blackburn Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centres.
The closures only affect the Minor Injuries Unit. The community hospital will be open as normal and there will continue to be 7 day access to GP services at the walk in centre at Accrington Victoria Community Hospital (AVCH) at the usual hours of operation from 8 am to 8 pm. There is a Minor Injuries Unit at Rossendale Health Centre which will remain open as usual and available from 8am to 8pm.
Other services such as your local pharmacy, NHS 111, primary care support from GPs in and out of hours, the Urgent Care Centres at Burnley General Hospital and Royal Blackburn Hospital will all still be available 24/7. In the event of an accident or a medical emergency, patients should call an ambulance or attend our Emergency Department at Blackburn.
Patient safety is always our priority. We would like to thank the people of Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire for their ongoing support and understanding, and assure them that we remain committed to the provision of safe, personal and effective care.