Accrington’s Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) will be closed for much of the Christmas and New Year period to cope with a surge in hospital demand, health bosses have confirmed.
The MIU, based at Accrington Victoria Hospital, will shut from December 24-27 and December 31-January 2 inclusive. The community hospital will be open as normal and there will continue to be seven-day access to GP services at the walk-in centre, from the usual hours of 8am to 8pm.
A joint statement on behalf of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, NHS East Lancashire CCG and NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said the closure will help them cope with “exceptionally high demand”.
The statement read: “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.
“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.
“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.”
The MIU will be open as usual from 8am to 8.30pm on Wednesday, December 28, Thursday, December 29, and Friday, December 30, and fully operational again on a seven-day basis from 8am on Tuesday, January 3.
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 local pharmacies, 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.