A NEW minor injuries services has been introduced across the Lothian healthboard area that aims to help people access minor injuries advice easily and safely.

People are now being asked to ‘Call MIA’, a service that offers a confidential online video consultation with a minor injuries nurse practitioner.

It provides advice on a wide range of injuries that are less than 14 days old, from sprains, cuts and burns to suspected broken bones and damaged muscles, nerves and tendons.

It is available seven days a week by calling 0300 790 6267 between 8am and 9pm for those over the age of eight and who live in Lothian.

Those with a life-threatening emergency should always call 999.

The launch of the service follows a successful pilot at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh earlier this year.

During its first six months, Call MIA helped more than 1,000 patients with minor injuries, saving many an unnecessary trip to hospital.

Now it has been extended to include all minor injuries services across Lothian; in East Lothian there is a minor injuries unit in the Edington Cottage Hospital in North Berwick.

Gillian McAuley, acute nurse director, who was responsible for introducing the service, said: “We’re asking anyone with a minor injury to Call MIA first.

“A qualified nurse will advise if you can self-treat the injury or with the help of a local pharmacy. If you need to go to a minor injury service, you’ll be given an appointment, so you don’t need to wait when you attend.

“All of this can be done from the comfort of your home or workplace.”

Dr Tracey Gillies, medical director of NHS Lothian, said: “Not everyone with a minor injury needs to be seen in person.

“Call MIA provides an extremely valuable service for patients, helping people to access the right care in the right place, and get help quicker and closer to home where possible.

“As we approach winter, it will be essential in reducing overcrowding in hospital waiting areas and keeping patients and staff safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Following the success of the service, it is being extended to other health board areas, including NHS Fife and Forth Valley.