Please return crutches

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HEALTH MATTERS: By Jenny Hinchliffe, head of clinical services for the South at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

It is lovely to see the lighter mornings and evenings once again, it really does put a spring in your step.

With one Bank Holiday weekend just passed and another fast approaching, we are turning our attention to the upcoming busy summer period. With this in mind, I would like to remind everyone that the Minor Injuries Unit at Johnson Community Hospital is here for you and it is right on your doorstep.

Here at the MIU we can also treat patients suffering from minor illnesses, which could include:

- ear and throat infections

- minor skin infections/rashes

- minor eye conditions/infections

- stomach upsets

- coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms.

The minor injuries unit is led by a team of experienced healthcare professionals and is often a more appropriate alternative to using A&E services – leaving A&E for those who really need it. The minor injuries we can treat include: injuries- strains and sprains, simple fractures, simple wounds, and the removal of foreign bodies from the eye, ear, nose and throat. We can also treat minor head injuries, as long as the patient has had no loss of consciousness. Patients who have lost consciousness and those who are taking anticoagulants such as Warfarin, would need to attend A&E.

Our waiting times will often be shorter than those of A&E and the unit is open from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week.

We aim to see all patients within four hours but we pride ourselves on our waiting times of less than one hour on average. If you are suffering from anything serious such as severe abdominal pain, chest pain or neck and back injuries then please do call 999 and go to your nearest A&E.

We are currently appealing for any past patients who have used loaned crutches to please kindly return them. We have recently discovered there is a regional shortage in supply of standard crutches and we want to ensure that we have a good stock level available.

We would ask anyone who has a pair at home not being used to use us as a point of return – even if they were loaned from somewhere else. Crutches can be returned if they have an NRS sticker on them but unfortunately we cannot accept any without the sticker. We know from experience people do tend to hold on to them and they can gather dust at the back of people’s wardrobes and cupboards. Please don’t let a good pair of crutches go to waste at the back of a cupboard.