limb injury unit

New Limb Injury Unit is reducing demand on Royal Cornwall Hospital

24 April 2020 | By |

To reduce the strain on the Emergency Department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital during the coronavirus epidemic, a new service has been set up at St Michael’s Hospital in Hayle.

The “St Michael’s Hospital Limb Injury Unit” is providing care for adult patients with limb injuries needing treatment beyond that which can normally be provided by Cornwall’s Minor Injury Units or West Cornwall Hospital. It doesn’t cover those that are major or life threatening and still needing the specialist Trauma services, which continue to be provided at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

Most people are referred to the Limb Unit after first being seen at an minor injury unit, or by the ambulance or 111 services, but people can also self-refer if they think their injury is appropriate.

The Limb Injury Unit is supported by two on-site operating theatres, two wards for adult inpatients, on-site orthopaedic staff and a co-located Fracture Clinic and Hand Clinic. X-ray which is available 24/7.

Referrals to the new unit can be made:

  • Directly by ambulance for any limb trauma beyond the capability of Minor Injury Units, but not requiring facilities at Royal Cornwall Hospital
  • From Minor Injury Units and West Cornwall Hospital if care cannot be delivered at those facilities
  • Self-referrals – depending upon the nature of the injury and how busy the Unit is, patients may be treated within the Unit or redirected to local Minor Injury Units

Clinical Lead and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Shaun Sexton said,

“Providing this new service at a different site from the Emergency Department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital means patients with significant limb injuries can continue to receive timely treatment, regardless of the demands of COVID-19 on our hospitals.”

Major trauma, life threatening injuries or patients who are medically unwell and may need specialist medical care continue to be treated at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

The service at St Michael’s Hospital should not be used by anyone who has a limb injury but also thinks they may have symptoms of coronavirus. They should first call 111 for advice.