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This is our bi-monthly magazine for our external stakeholders, including staff from partner providers, commissioners and members of the public. It rounds-up the latest news from Trust Board meetings as well as providing an update on other Trust-wide developments. To subscribe to receiving your electronic version email: whcnhs.communications@nhs.net
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Each year the Trust produces its Annual Report which includes our Financial Accounts and Quality Accounts for that year. It also includes a round-up of the year’s key news and achievements. 

To access the current and previous Annual Report click here

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  Media enquiriesIf you are a member of the media then contact us by email: whcnhs.communications@nhs.net or on: 01905 760020 or 07882 725082.

Proud NHS staff are hitting the right notes for recruitment drive

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Staff and patients of a local NHS Trust have been working in harmony to produce a new music video as part of a recruitment push

Called ‘Proud’ and based on the original by Heather Small, the video has been produced in-house and features staff and patients from Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, which runs the county’s community hospitals and is the main local provider of mental health services.

The video showcases the services The Trust provides, which range from physios for children to dementia care for older people, and aims to encourage healthcare professionals and others looking for a career in the NHS to join its ranks.

Click here for more Information

Statement on an issue affecting the processing of physio patient letters to GPs:

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We have been made aware of 208 patient documents over a period of 5 years which may not have been processed from one of the computer systems, mainly relating to physiotherapy. It appears that the majority of the documents affected involve assessment documents which are stored on the system after an outpatient clinic appointment.  We are working with our staff to review the documentation and make sure that no further action for patients was indicated.  We are doing this as quickly as possible and will contact directly any patients affected who need to be seen again.

If you have any concerns please contact our Patient Relations Team on: Telephone: 01905 681517

Email: WHCNHS.PALS@nhs.net

Minor Injuries Units Over Summer

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With children being off school for their summer holidays, the chances of them obtaining a minor injury is likely to increase while they are out having fun with their friends and family.

We want to set a gentle reminder that those with minor injuries can attend one of the county’s 5 minor injuries units which are run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust where injuries including small cuts and burns, grazes, sprains, strains and fractures can be treated.

The staff at our minor injuries units are fully trained Emergency Nurse Practitioners who have the skills, knowledge and experience  to deal with a range of minor injuries and patients can expect to be treated quickly with the average waiting time being 20 minutes. Click here for more . . .

Local NHS Trust shortlisted for National Apprenticeship Award 

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A local NHS Trust has been recognised for their work helping young people get their first foot on the career ladder.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the County’s main provider of mental health and community services, have been shortlisted at the regional stage of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017 in the Large Apprenticeship Employer of the Year category.

The awards showcase outstanding employers and apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their workplaces and highlights the difference apprenticeships have made in an organisation.

Click here for more . . .

Better care and less time in hospital – Evesham Stroke Rehab Unit Update

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The county’s new specialist Stroke Rehabilitation Unit in Evesham is supporting patients to recover well and return home quicker.

The new unit at Evesham is managed by stroke specialists and consultants and supported by representatives from the Worcestershire Carers Association and the Stroke Association who are on hand to provide expert help and guidance to patients and carers. Since it opened, the average time a patient spends in hospital recovering from a stroke has reduced. Patients are able to return home to continue their recovery quicker, with the average length of stay on the unit less than a month. Previously, the average time spent in hospital was around 6 weeks.

Click here for more information

Trust set for AGM

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The Trust which provides the majority of the county’s mental health and community nursing services holds its AGM next week.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust run the county’s five community hospitals, and is also responsible for a range of other physical health services such as physio, speech and language and occupational therapy, as well as being the main provider of mental health services for children, adults and those over 65.

On Wednesday, July 12th the Trust will present its summary of performance across service delivery and finance at its AGM in Worcester. 

Click here for more information

New website & direct access to physiotherapy launched in South Worcestershire

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A new self-help website and self-referral service for patients requiring physiotherapy has launched in South Worcestershire.

The Move to Improve site (www.hacw.nhs.uk/movetoimprove) is run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust which provides NHS Physiotherapy services across the county. The website provides a range of tips and advice to help people manage common problems like back and shoulder pain more effectively by themselves. Then, if they still require support from a physiotherapist they can, for the first time ever in this area, self-refer online without needing an appointment with a GP to refer them to physiotherapy. 

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Reminder to use your local Minor Injury Unit if you have minor injury

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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust is reminding residents to take any minor injuries to their local Minor Injury Unit (MIU), where the average waiting time is 20 minutes.

The Trust is urging those with minor injuries including small cuts and burns, grazes, sprains, strains and fractures to attend one of their MIUs in Worcestershire which are located at Bromsgrove, Malvern, Evesham and Tenbury. There is also a unit in Kidderminster run by the local Acute Trust. 


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‘Things not to say to someone with Schizophrenia’

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A mental health support worker in Worcester has taken part in a national BBC film as part of Schizophrenia Awareness Week.

Paul Stevens, who has been a Peer Support Worker with Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust for 3 years, was given the opportunity to work on the BBC 3’s short film ‘Things Not To Say To Someone With Schizophrenia’ which aired earlier this month.

The film was based on overcoming common misconceptions that people have of those with living with schizophrenia and how it affects them on a daily basis.

Click here for more information

Help shape new dementia and mental health services for older people in Worcestershire

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Residents are being invited to attend workshops to help develop new dementia and other mental health services for older people in Worcestershire.

Local health commissioners (CCGs) and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the county’s main provider of mental health services, are working together to host a series of events for patients, families/carers and the wider public to join staff to begin the process of redesigning those services supporting older people with dementia and other mental health conditions.

Currently people with dementia or other conditions such as psychosis or depression can be supported by staff in their own home, or if things are more serious, in one of the county’s specialist inpatient wards at New Haven in Bromsgrove, or Athelon Ward in Worcester. Click here for more information

Ways to Wellbeing event in Wyre Forest

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A community wellbeing hub for those experiencing more mild or lower level mental health problems is running a drop in event in Kidderminster this month.

The Wellbeing Hub, run by Community First, is the ‘community resources arm’ of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s Healthy Minds service, which together provide information and signposting for people over the age of 16 who are struggling with things like anxiety, stress, low mood, worry or depression.

The Hub is unique to Worcestershire and aims to connect people with the range of courses and groups available across the county run by local non-NHS community providers, for example voluntary organisations or charities.

Click here for more information

Plea for volunteers at county’s Community Unit

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A local NHS Trust is seeking volunteers from across Worcestershire to work alongside staff at Timberdine Community Unit in Worcester. Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the main provider of community and mental health services in the county, is on the hunt for volunteers to coincide with Volunteers’ Week (1 st – 7 th June) which celebrates the difference volunteers make to a community.

There are currently over 100 volunteers across the Trust ranging from 16-83 years old and their roles vary from helping at baby clinics, doing activities and befriending patients on wards, gardening, presenting hospital radio shows, helping teams with administrative jobs, sitting on interview panels and much more. Click here for more

Worcestershire Wellbeing Hub celebrates its 1st birthday

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A community wellbeing hub for those experiencing more mild or lower level mental health problems has celebrated being open for one year this week.

The Wellbeing Hub, run by Community First, is the ‘community resources arm’ of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s Healthy Minds service, which together provide information and signposting for people over the age of 16 who are struggling with things like anxiety, stress, low mood, worry or depression.

The Hub is unique to Worcestershire and aims to connect people with the range of courses and groups available across the county run by local non-NHS community providers, for example voluntary organisations or charities. Click here for more

Worcester residents invited to local photography exhibition

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Budding photographers from a centre that helps support people in their recovery from mental health issues are displaying their snaps at a local exhibition.

The exhibition, at the Commandery in Worcester, is the result of a 19 week digital photography course run by New Opportunities Worcestershire which is based at Shrub Hill Workshop, a service provided by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust. All those on the course are recovering from mental illness, and the photography course is designed to help in their recovery by building self-esteem and confidence and helping participants to learn techniques for taking good, well composed photographs.

Click here for more information

Happy Birthday to the Princess of Wales Community Hospital, Bromsgrove 

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The Princess of Wales Community Hospital in Bromsgrove celebrates its 25th birthday this week.

The hospital was opened by Diana Princess of Wales on May 5th 1992 and has since served the community of Bromsgrove providing a range of services including minor injury units, outpatients clinics, recovery wards and end of life care.

On Friday the hospital will host an afternoon tea and cake event to celebrate the anniversary and will be inviting current and past staff to join patients in the restaurant.

Click here for more information

Know your health service options this Easter

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There is always extra pressure on Emergency services over bank holidays with many people choosing to visit A&E, when there are a number of other health services available.

The extra-long bank holiday weekend means that some NHS services, like GP practices and dentists, will close on Thursday evening (13 April 2017) and won’t open again until Tuesday morning (18 April 2017). So it’s important to get organised and think ahead. Contact your GP practice or visit their website to find out practice opening times.

Many minor complaints such as coughs and colds can be treated by staying at home, getting plenty of rest and making sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Click here for more

Trust Chairman’s tenure extended

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The Chairman of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has had his tenure extended by a further 2 years. 

Chris Burdon has been in the role since The Trust was formed back in 2011, during which time it has received a number of national accolades and a ‘Good’ rating from the CQC – the independent regulator which monitors the performance of health and care providers. 

Chris’ term was due to end in June, but for continuity at Board level NHS Improvement, which is responsible for appointing chairs and non-executive directors to NHS trust boards, has re-appointed him until the summer of 2019. They said: “We are delighted that Mr Burdon has agreed to continue as chair of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and that he will continue to provide strong and stable leadership.”

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Stroke Association to support new county rehab ward

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The Stroke Association and a local carers group are providing support to patients and families at our new stroke rehabilitation ward which opened in Evesham this week.

Earlier this year Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and the three local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) agreed a proposal to consolidate all the county’s 32 specialist stroke rehab beds at Evesham Community Hospital. This means all patients across the county who need a specialist rehab bed to recover from a stroke will be admitted to Evesham.

The stroke rehab beds have previously been provided across a few sites (16 beds at Evesham Community Hospital, 8 at Timberdine Community Unit in Worcester, and 8 at The Princess of Wales Community Hospital, Bromsgrove) 

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Local Trust named global digital exemplar for mental health 

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Mental health services in Worcestershire could be transformed over the next few years by the use of ground-breaking new IT and digital systems, following an announcement from NHS England. Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the main provider of mental health services in the county, will receive up to £5million of national funding and additional support to develop new and innovative IT and digital systems to support mental health patients throughout the county.

The Trust has been named a Global Digital Exemplar for Mental Health as part of a plan released by NHS England on Friday (March 31st).  There are only six of these across the country and the Trust has been selected in recognition of its recent IT developments, as well as its overall performance and financial sustainability. 

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New team helps young people to reach for mental health wellbeing

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A new team has been created in Worcestershire to help children and young people experiencing anxiety, low mood and self-harm.

The Reach4Wellbeing team, part of Worcestershire Health and Care Trust’s Starting Well service aims to reduce the stigma of mental health by promoting positive wellbeing in communities and offering short-term group programmes that will initially focus on anxiety and eventually progress to offer sessions on low mood and self-harm. 

The programmes are open to children and young people aged 5-19 years and those over the age of 13 can refer themselves onto a course. Click here for more

Mental health ward in Redditch recognised for excellent care 

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A mental health ward in Redditch has been praised for being caring, supportive and safe after an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Hillcrest, run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust – the county’s main provider of mental health services – is an inpatient ward which treats adults with severe mental illnesses when they can’t be supported or cared for at home or in the community. 

In January they were visited by the CQC as part of the mental health inspection programme which aims to understand the experience of service users by looking at the quality of the ward environment, patient and medicine records and speaking to patients, the ward manager and other staff members. Click here for more

NHS staff supporting nutrition and hydration week

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Staff at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust are promoting nutrition and hydration this week as part of a national campaign to get people living healthier lifestyles.

The campaign which runs from 13th – 19th March aims to highlight, promote and celebrate improving nutrition and hydration in health and social care sectors.

To coincide with the campaign, the Trust, which runs the 5 Community Hospitals in the county, has launched a new food and drink strategy which will promote new healthier options available in staff vending machines and a new thickener to be used for patients with swallowing issues to ensure they remain well hydrated. Click here for more

National Apprenticeship Week: NHS Apprenticeships available

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This week is National Apprenticeship Week which aims to celebrate the success of apprenticeships and encourage people to choose an apprenticeship as a career path.

Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, the County’s main provider of community and mental health services is reminding people of the opportunities an apprenticeship in the organisation can offer.

Mollie Downes began her apprenticeship with the Trust, which has recently been recognised for it’s commitment to employing and encouraging apprentice, and was offered a permanent role once she had completed her apprenticeship. Click here for more

Reminder for residents to download app which helps to keep a healthy mind

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A local NHS Trust is reminding Worcestershire residents to download a free self-help app built to help people maintain good mental wellbeing.

The Worcestershire Healthy Minds app was developed by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s Communications Team and its Healthy Minds service. It provides tips and techniques to help people self-manage more common mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and low mood.

Available on both Android and Apple devices, the app enables people to take control of things including sleep problems, phobias, OCD and bereavement. Click here for more

Local NHS Trust recognised as a leading employer of apprentices

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A local NHS Trust has recently been acknowledged for the commitment it makes to employing and encouraging apprentices within the organisation.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the County’s main provider of mental health and community services, won the ‘Medium Apprentice Employer of the Year’ accolade at an awards ceremony organised by Health Education England working across the West Midlands.

The Trust provides a range of apprenticeship opportunities for the local community. The entry level scheme provides a crucial springboard for young people to start a career in the NHS and the higher level apprenticeships provide a great opportunity for existing staff to maximise their potential. Click here for more

New website launched to help residents access information about sexual health

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A new website has been launched in Worcestershire to help people access information and support about the sexual health services that are available to them. Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust is the main provider of sexual health services in the County and the Trust has recently created the ‘Know Your Stuff’ website which aims to inform people about the services and support they provide.

As well as listing the locations and opening times of the County’s seven sexual health clinics and young people’s clinics the website also provides information about relationships, sexuality, contraception and STI testing. The new site also gives visitors the opportunity to send a professional a question anonymously.

Click here for more

New telephone service to support families in Worcestershire

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A new Health Visitor telephone advisory service for parents of children up to the age of 5has been launched in Worcestershire this week.

The new phone line has been set up to provide additional support and advice over the phone to parents and is being run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s Health Visitors. 

It will be manned by trained staff from the Health Visiting Team who can advise on issues such as feeding and behaviour. It can be accessed on - 0330 123 9551 - from 8am-4pm Monday – Friday

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New Opportunities for mental health recovery in Bromsgrove

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Several new outreach projects to help those recovering from a mental health illness are now available in Bromsgrove. 

New Opportunities Worcestershire, part of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, run a variety of outreach projects across the County for people living with a mental health condition. The aim is to help people improve their skills, gain confidence and increase concentration, enabling them to move into mainstream activities. The projects are currently run in Redditch, Worcester and Bromsgrove and include art, horticulture, woodwork, DIY, photography and office skills.

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Trust agrees proposals for stroke rehab services

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Plans for increased visiting times are being developed as part of changes to a service providing specialist rehabilitation to those recovering from a stroke. 

At the end of 2016 Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and the three local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) put together a proposal to consolidate the county’s specialist stroke rehab beds at Evesham Community Hospital. This would mean all patients across the county who needed a specialist rehab bed post stroke would be admitted to Evesham.  

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NHS Trust employee assists on BBC’s DIY SOS 

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A community occupational therapist for Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has assisted BBC’s DIY SOS production team on an episode which airs on the 17th Feb. Jane Trevorrow, who has 10 years’ experience with the Trust, was given the opportunity to work on DIY SOS where Nick Knowles and an army of voluntary local trades, family and friends help transform the homes of families across Britain.

The episode focusses on adapting the home of Antonia, then 17, from Eckington, who hasn’t been able to leave hospital for over 2 years as her home is inappropriate for the complexity of her condition.  Jane, who has been working with the family since 2014, has a continued input into the specialist equipment that Antonia requires as part of her role as a community occupational therapist.

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Vandalism leaves centre for children with £10,000 worth of damage

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An NHS centre in Redditch that provides services for children with special and additional needs has been victim to several instances of vandalism. The Scott Atkinson Child Development Centre, run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has seen its doors, windows and outdoor toys damaged with the most recent incident taking place last weekend. The cost of the damage has been estimated at around £10,000. Police are currently investigating and increasing patrols in the area.

The centre provides specialist assessment groups for children of pre-school age with complex additional needs. The centre offers families the opportunity to attend groups to practice complex handling, play and communication skills in a specialist environment with expert nursery nurses supporting and guiding them. 

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Local mental health ward recognised for their outstanding care 

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A mental health ward in Worcester has been acknowledged for providing quality care as part of a national standards-based accreditation programme.

Athelon Ward, run by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust – the county’s main provider of mental health services - has been recognised as providing a high standard of care and has been accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI).

The inpatient ward, based at the Elgar Unit along Newtown Road, provides support for people over the age of 65 who have mental health needs which means they cannot be supported in their own home. 

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The mystery behind the pop up posters around Redditch has been solved

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Over the past week posters displaying uplifting messages have been appearing on phone boxes, benches and lampposts in the town centre as part of a local mental wellbeing campaign. 

With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem each year, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s joined forces with Community First to promote the importance of looking after your own health and wellbeing by sharing optimistic, positive messages. Worcestershire Wellbeing Hub, which is a partnership between the Trust and Community First, provides information and signposting for people over the age of 16 who are struggling with things like anxiety, stress, low mood, worry or depression

Click here for more

Know your health service options

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With the NHS experiencing high levels of demand for services and a spell of cold weather forecast over the next few days, health bosses across Worcestershire are encouraging people to know their health services options.

Patients can contact their own GP during surgery hours, visit their local pharmacist, dial 111 for medical advice and information and there are five Minor Injury Units across the county in Malvern, Evesham, Kidderminster, Tenbury and Bromsgrove.

At this time of year, cold weather and cold homes can have a significant impact on people's health, so keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent some illnesses particularly amongst the elderly and those with respiratory conditions. Click here for more 

Mental health help for new mums

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The birth of a baby is often said to be the happiest time of your life. For some new mums, however, the reality is quite different. For those with mental health disorders such as Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Antenatal and Postnatal Depression, this can be the most worrying time of all. In Worcestershire, the Perinatal Psychiatry team work with women from conception to one year postnatal, this is referred to as the ‘perinatal period’. 

This Countywide, community-based service, provided by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, works closely with GPs, Midwives and Health Visitors to identify women who may be at risk of developing or who are already living with a mental illness. The Perinatal team have antenatal mental health clinics for pregnant women who are at risk of developing a mental health problem either during pregnancy or after birth. Click Here for More

Take your Minor Injuries to our Minor Injury Units

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Worcestershire’s Minor Injury Units (MIUs) remain the place to go if you have cuts, wounds, sprains, strains and minor burns. All the county’s five MIUs (Kidderminster, Malvern, Evesham, Bromsgrove and Tenbury) are open as normal and are staffed with skilled and experienced staff who can treat a range of minor injuries.

Michelle Clarke, Director of Nursing and Quality at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “The message is clear that the MIUs are open and remain the place to go for your minor injuries. Our MIUs are staffed with excellent nurses who are trained to treat a range of minor injuries and on average the waiting times in each site is often less than 30minutes.” Click Here for More