Had an accident? Get help at a minor injuries unit

Date: 16 December 2019


When you or a loved one has an accident or injury, your first thought might be to head off to an A&E department.

You might not give a thought to Oxfordshire’s highly skilled emergency practitioners at Oxford Health’s community hospitals.

It’s time to think again. Our staff treat thousands of people every month in minor injuries units (MIU) or first aid units (FAU) across the county. In fact, in the past year our teams have cared for 40,800 patients – tending to their wounds and patching them up.

MIUs operate at three of the county’s community hospitals: in Abingdon, Witney and Henley. They have X-ray facilities and practitioners who can treat people for a range of injuries – from broken bones, severe sprains, deep cuts, eye injuries, minor head injuries, minor burns to scalds.

FAUs are located at Bicester, Wallingford and Chipping Norton hospitals and offer the same multi-skilled teams without X-ray facilities.

Pete McGrane, Oxford Health’s Clinical Director for Community Services, said: “Our minor injuries units can help local people with a wide range of minor injuries, reducing the pressures on A&E and increasing your chances of being seen more quickly. Come in and see us, we’re here to help.

“A&Es are for emergencies, for those serious, potentially life-threatening cases. MIUs are often a much better option for sprained ankles, wounds, bites, eye injuries etc.

“When someone gets hurt they want to get medical help as soon as possible. Our MIU teams have all the training, skills and experience to help in most cases. They have the expertise to deal with complex needs and have X-ray too, so they can see if you’ve broken something or if it’s a sprain.”

All Oxford Health’s MIUs operate an appointment system via the NHS 111 service. Callers are questioned about their injury over the phone and given an appointment at their nearest unit.

Appointments give people a more accurate idea of when they will be seen. Walk-in patients are seen, but those who have an appointment will be seen first unless there is a clinical need to tackle a more urgent case.

Feedback from patients is consistently high. Oxford Health uses the independent ‘I Want Great Care’ website to monitor how our patients rate the way we look after them.

With a maximum potential score of 5, our units universally score near top marks with Abingdon at 4.9, Witney at 4.78 and Henley a near perfect 4.96 – all demonstrating a good service.

Remember to call NHS 111 for an appointment.

MINOR INJURIES UNITS (with X-ray facilities)

Abingdon Community Hospital
Marcham Road, Abingdon, OX14 1AG
Tel: 01865 903476
Open seven days a week, 10am to 10.30pm.

Townlands Memorial Hospital
York Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 2EB
Tel: 01865 903755
Open seven days a week, 9am to 8pm.
X-ray is closed on bank holidays and weekends.

Witney Community Hospital
Welch Way, Witney
OX28 6JJ
Tel: 01865 903841
Open seven days a week, 10am to 10.30pm.


Bicester Community Hospital
Piggy Lane (access via Coker Close)
BicesterOX26 6HT
Tel: 01865 903976
Monday-Friday 6pm to 11pm and 8.30am to 11pm at weekends and bank holidays.
The First Aid Unit offers a walk-in service, so no referral or appointment required.

Chipping Norton War Memorial Community Hospital
Russell Way, off London Road
Chipping Norton OX7 5FA
Tel: 01865 903333 (Main Reception, 8.30am to 5pm)
This service operated by South Central Ambulance Service and is open weekday evenings, 5pm to 9pm and 10am to 9pm at weekends and bank holidays.
This is a drop-in service and you do not need to make an appointment.

Wallingford Community Hospital
Reading Road, Wallingford, OX10 9DU
Tel:  01865 903471 (Please telephone prior to attending.)
Get directions to the hospital here
This service is open Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) 8.30am to 6.30pm.

TOP TIPS:  If you have a minor injury (suspected break, sprain, wound, cut or eye injury), ring NHS 111, give the call handler all the details they ask for and get an appointment at your nearest MIU or FAU. Or you can go online at 111.nhs.uk

EVERYBODY HURTS: If you are in pain due to an injury please take painkillers, like paracetamol, before you come in for assessment. It makes the assessment easier for everyone concerned. “It won’t mask your injury and it can help with your treatment as we will be able to move you more,” says Pete McGrane

FIRST AID FIRST: The NHS website has some useful tips and ideas on how to deal with sprains of strains that can include pain, swelling, bruising and tenderness around a joint or muscle. Recommendations include PRICE: protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/sports-injuries/treatment

  • Summary:

    By using a minor injuries or first aid unit you'll ease the pressure at A&E.

  • Transformation:
  • Date:
    16 December 2019