Minor Injuries Unit - Halton
Open 9am to 10pm, seven days a week
Please note - X-ray services at Halton General are available Monday - Friday from 9am to 8pm and on a Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 6pm (see X-ray section below for details of services outside these hours).
About Minor Injuries at Halton General Hospital
The Minor Injuries Unit at Halton General is open from 9am to 10pm every day of the week and provides treatment for less serious injuries, such as sprains, fractures, cuts and grazes to the residents of Halton.
Halton General Hospital has never had its own full Accident and Emergency (A&E) department and many local people go to A&E at Warrington Hospital with minor injuries, when they could be usually treated much more quickly at Halton's Minor Injuries Unit.
In A&E departments 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 (although Warrington Hospital does have a minor injuries area as well).
If you live in the Halton area and your injury is not too serious, it is usually better for you to go to the Minor Injuries Unit at Halton General. You do not need an appointment to visit the unit. However, the unit is for injuries and is not an alternative to going to your GP for a minor illness.
The unit is run by a team of highly qualified nurse practitioners who have experience and expertise in treating minor injuries. The team is supported by senior medical staff from A&E at Warrington.
What conditions can be treated at the unit?
The Minor Injuries Unit can treat a wide variety of problems including:
- cuts and grazes
- sprains and strains
- broken bones (fractures) - but please note that x-ray services are not provided at Halton beyond 8pm weekdays and are limited at weekends
- bites and stings
- infected wounds
- minor head injuries
- eye problems, such as minor eye infections, scratches or something that is stuck in your eye.
Nurse prescribing services
Some of the nurse practitioners are nurse prescribers which enables them to see and treat patients who present with some minor illness. This can include simple urinary tract infections in women, skin infections, ear and throat infections and emergency contraception.
Services for children
Children under the age of three can be treated at the Halton Minor Injuries Unit – although the problem should be minor and any child with serious injury or illness should be taken to Warrington Hospital A&E.
If you require an x-ray during your visit to the Minor Injuries Unit, you will be required to go to the X-ray department on the 1st floor of Halton General Hospital. The X-ray department is open Monday - Friday from 9am to 8pm and on a Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 6pm. If you require an x-ray outside of these hours, you may be asked to travel to Warrington General Hospital A&E or return to the Minor Injuries Unit during the X-ray department's opening hours.
What conditions cannot be treated at the unit?
Conditions that Minor Injury Units cannot treat include:
- chest pain
- respiratory problems
- abdominal pain
- gynaecological problems
- pregnancy problems
- drug overdose
- alcohol related problems
- mental health problems
- health conditions that would normally be treated by your GP or hospital.
Where is the unit located?
The Minor Injuries Unit is located at Entrance 2 of Halton General Hospital. This is at the rear of the hospital site near the main car park areas.
- By car - If coming via Hospital Way by car, turn right as you reach the Brooker Centre before the main entrance. Follow this road and you will see Entrance 2 to the left and the unit entrance and reception is just through the doors.
- By bus - If arriving by bus at the main entrance, keep walking through the main hospital corridor and then take the stairs or lift down to Entrance 2.
The unit is open from 9am to 10 pm every day of the week. Outside of these hours you should use the A&E department at Warrington Hospital for urgent care needs that cannot wait until the unit is open.
What to expect - patient advice and information
What happens when I get to the unit?
On arrival at the unit you will be seen by a trained nurse and your condition will be assessed as to whether your condition can be seen in the unit, If the condition cannot or does not need to be seen in Minor Injuries you will be redirected safely to the appropriate health care provider such as a dentist, your GP or A&E.
How long will I have to wait?
Like major A&E departments, the Minor Injuries Unit has a four hour target meaning that the longest you should have to wait for your treatment to be complete after arrival is four hours in total. Most patients are seen much quicker than in A&E due to the nature of injuries. However, on very busy days you may have to wait up to four hours.
What else can I expect?
Depending on the nature of the injury you will usually be treated by the team in a private cubicle. You may need to have an x-ray in the hospital's x-ray department as well. You will be taken upstairs for this and then come back down to have your results assessed by the team.
There is a separate children’s area in the unit for caring for infants with an injury.
Contacting the department
The department cannot offer advice over the phone and if you require advice from a trained nurse by phone you should call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.