A SOUTHAMPTON treatment centre has announced it will be open for people with minor illnesses.

Southampton Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC), which offers an alternative to A&E for non-life threatening conditions, is welcoming people with minor illnesses, and not COVID-19, back to the centre for treatment.

It comes after the centre, based in Royal South Hants Hospital, closed during the second national lockdown.

During the early stages of the pandemic, the centre was only able to treat patients with minor injuries, as those patients with cold-like symptoms had to be diverted for treatment elsewhere as part of the efforts to contain the virus.

Penny Daniels, who runs the service, said: “We have made numerous alterations to our practices to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff, and we are delighted to once again be able to offer minor illness treatment.

"It is especially important at this time of year, when colds and infections are common and A&E services are facing the usual challenges of winter on top of the unprecedented appearance of the coronavirus.”

The UTC has a highly skilled team of nurse practitioners, paramedics practitioners, GPs and other health professionals, offering treatment, advice and information for a range of injuries and illnesses that need urgent, but not emergency, medical attention.

As well as limb x-rays, the UTC can offer treatment for infections, wounds, minor head injuries, strains, suspected broken limbs, splinters, minor eye injuries, and minor injuries to the back, shoulder and chest.

Penny said: “People are surprised at the exceptional range and quality of care that is available at a walk-in service like ours.

“We have a special children’s area where families can sit and wait for treatment.

"Many parents have told me they have welcomed being able to keep their children happy and relaxed in an atmosphere much calmer than a traditional emergency department.

"We have, on average, significantly shorter waiting times than A&E and, given our convenient location and extensive opening hours, it also makes it easy for those coming in or out of Southampton for work or school.”

The UTC is open every day of the year from Monday to Sunday, 8am until 8pm, with the last patient accepted at 7.30pm.