Tuesday 16th December – 2.30pm – Claire Brown.
With the Christmas party period in full swing, paramedics and volunteer medics will be on hand to pick up the pieces in Birmingham.
Returning for its eighth year, the Temporary Minor Injuries Unit (TMIU) will be based near Broad Street in the City Centre to help treat worse for wear revellers to avoid A&E attendances.
This year the TMIU will take up residence in Cambridge Street, in space provided by the Library of Birmingham and will operate on three evenings after the library has closed. It will provide treatment to the walking wounded, patients suffering with minor illness and minor medical conditions and revellers who have had a bit too much to drink on the busiest festive party nights.
The space will be transformed into a makeshift treatment unit to provide patients who arrive at the unit by ambulance or by foot with fast and efficient treatment.
As in previous years, this successful partnership venture will be running with WMAS paramedics, technicians, Central Accident Resuscitation Emergency (CARE) Team nurses and doctors, Fastaid Community First Responders and volunteers from the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance. As well as medical staff, the unit is supported each night it operates by special constables from West Midlands Police and Birmingham’s City Pastors.
Paramedic Mike Duggan is in charge of running the Trust’s smaller-scale City Centre Treatment Unit which operates each Friday and Saturday night on Broad Street and sees around 60-80 patients each weekend. Mike said: “The weekend before Christmas and New Year’s Eve will see the return of the traditional TMIU to help us deal with the increase in 999 calls we historically experience during the festive party season.
“Typical patients who are treated at the unit include those who have had too much alcohol, suffered cuts, bruises, sprained ankles or have a medical condition which has flared up and needs treatment. These patients often don’t need a trip to A&E but need some form of medical intervention and the TMIU is the perfect place.
“Just over 100 revellers were seen at the unit during the weekend before Christmas last year and medics treated more than 125 patients on New Years’ Eve. It’s always unpredictable in terms of what the TMIU staff will see but, what’s always certain is a steady stream of patients to keep the multi-agency team of medics busy to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.”
Sue Roberts, Regional Director for St John Ambulance, said: “St John Ambulance is always pleased to work in partnership with WMAS and other organisations so the public can have fun safely. We have a team of highly trained volunteers who will be on hand to support party goers or anyone who requires first aid support in the city centre during the busy festive period.
“Having this unit means people can get treatment quickly, which could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved in an emergency. It also alleviates pressure on ambulance and hospital services.”
Alex Hayward, British Red Cross Ambulance Support Co-ordinator in the West Midlands, said: “We work closely with WMAS in the city centre on Broad Street every weekend, but we’ll be increasing our support for the TMIU over Christmas and New Year. Festive spirit will be flowing, but our team of volunteers are highly trained to treat a range of injuries and conditions, helping to keep revellers safe and reduce pressure on A&E, which is often busier at this time of year.”
The TMIU will be located on Cambridge Street and will be accessible via the Library of Birmingham services reception, on Friday 19th, Saturday 20th and Wednesday 31st December. The TMIU will be operational each of these nights between 8.00pm and 4.00am.
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