Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) provide treatment for less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes.
Many people go to Accident and Emergency (A&E) with minor injuries, when they could be usually treated much more quickly at a Minor Injuries Unit.
In A&E staff must give priority to serious and life-threatening conditions, so if you go there with a minor injury, you may have to wait a long time to be seen.
If your injury is not serious, it’s usually better for you to go to a Minor Injuries Unit if there’s one in your local area.
You do not need an appointment to visit a Minor Injuries Unit.
They are run by a team of highly qualified nurse practitioners who have experience and expertise in treating minor injuries.
You can visit your local Minor Injuries Unit if:
- you have a cuts, grazes and wounds
- you have a sprains, strains, muscle or joint injury
- you have a broken bones (fractures),
- you have a skin complaint – bite or sting (including human bites), unexplained rash or even severe sunburn
- you have a minor infection which needs treating
- you need emergency contraception
- you have a minor head injury
- you have a eye problems, such as minor eye infections, scratches or something that is stuck in your eye.
Conditions that Minor Injuries Units cannot treat include:
- chest pain,
- respiratory problems,
- abdominal pain,
- gynecological problems,
- pregnancy problems,
- drug overdose,
- alcohol related problems,
- mental health problems, and health conditions that would normally be treated by your GP or hospital.
Minor Injury Units are also not normally equipped to treat children under three years of age.
If you’re not sure whether your injury can be treated in a Minor Injuries Unit, telephone NHS 111 (NHS 111 website). They will be able to advise you, and can also tell you where your nearest Minor Injuries Unit is.
The service is linked to the GP out-of-hours service.
MIU contact telephone numbers and opening times
- North Devon District Hospital (A&E) – telephone 01271 322577 – Open 24 hours
- Bideford Hospital – telephone 01271 322 577 – open 8.30am – 8.30pm (closed Christmas day)
- Holsworthy Medical Centre – telephone 01409 253692 – Open weekdays 8.30am – 5.45pm
- Ilfracombe – telephone 01271 863448 – open 8am – 6pm (closed Christmas day)
- Lynton – telephone 01598 753 226 / 01598 752520 – open 8am – 6pm weekdays and 11am – 4pm weekends
- South Molton – telephone 01769 573811 / 01769 573101 – Both East St Surgery and South Molton Health Centre provide a Minor Injury Service – Weekdays 8.30am – 6pm. www.southmoltonhealthcentre.co.uk
- Torrington – telephone 01805 623222 – Castle Gardens Surgery provide a Minor Injury Service – Weekdays 8.30am – 6pm – closed between 1.15pm and 2pm. If you have an injury during this period, you may visit Torrington Health Centre where an assessment of your condition will be made. Depending on that, you might be offered immediate treatment or asked to return to Castle Gardens Surgery at 2pm.
Please ring up before you turn up – Before coming to an MIU that is open 24 hours please telephone the hospital (on the main hospital number) before turning up to check that it will be the appropriate place to be treated.
For other Minor Injury Units managed by other NHS Trusts in Devon please visit NHS Choices