OBJECTIVE: To evaluate activities of a nurse led minor injuries unit based in a community hospital situated eight miles away from its sister district hospital in Crawley to demonstrate whether nurses can provide an alternative service. DESIGN: "Walk in" service provided by emergency nurse practitioners (ENPs) working within protocols and parameters with supervision from the accident and emergency consultant during the period of May 1995 to April 1996. RESULTS: Within the 12 month period, ENPs treated 6944 new patients. Altogether 234 patients were transferred to Crawley Hospital for further treatment. The ENPs reviewed 1611 patients and the consultant 1342; 1945 patients required radiographs and 793 were given medication; 553 patients were referred to other health care professionals. Almost all patients were happy to see a nurse and all were satisfied with the treatment they received. CONCLUSION: With careful planning, adequate supervision, and support from multidisciplinary teams nurses can provide a worthwhile and effective service for a local community.
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