TODAY'S trip into the Advertiser's Archives sees us travel back in time to the opening of the new 'minor injuries unit' at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

Here's how we reported the news in the Advertiser on January 29, 2004...

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THE new 'minor injuries unit' at the Vale of Leven Hospital officially opened last Monday and hospital staff and campaigners have given it the thumbs up.

The department replaces the Accident and Emergency service which controversially closed due to lack of consultant surgeons.

Staff at the new unit say they are happy with the way the new arrangements have been working in the first week.

Patients register at the main reception, which is separate from the hospital entrance, and are seen by a triage nurse who will assess where they should go.

Patients are referred either to the two-bed fracture clinic and plaster room, the five-bed medical assessment area for further investigation which could involve admittance to the hospital, or the four-bed minor injuries area for treatment.

They could also be referred back to their own GP or to the night service provided by Lomond Docs.

More serious cases would be sent straight to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley by ambulance.

The minor injuries unit is open from 9am until 9pm and the medical assessment unit is open 24 hours a day, with the Lomond Docs service covering nights as well.

Vale hospital manager Bruce Barnett said: “This has been terrific. We have spent a fair bit of money to get it right and all the staff seem satisfied with how we have laid it out.”

He said that about 75 per cent of patients who attend the unit would be treated there, and about 25 per cent would be transferred to Paisley for treatment.

Sue Wilson, a clinical nurse specialist, said the new system is an exciting move for nurses who now play a different role.

“It’s an exciting time for nursing,” she said.

“The same patients will turn up, it just means that they will go to the most appropriate place.

“It’s more streamlined because the services are more integrated.”