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Phone First for Minor Injury Units for your Christmas Injuries

Powys Nurses reveal the most common Christmas injuries, and urge people to "Phone First" for Minor Injury Units in Powys.

Falling off stepladders while putting up the decorations and cuts to the hands while chopping swedes are among the most common Christmas injuries in Powys, a senior nurse has revealed as she urges people to phone Minor Injury Units before arriving.

Christina Thomas is a senior nurse with Powys Teaching Health Board. She says:

“Christmas lights that haven’t been safety checked also cause lots of problems. We treat people who have fallen from their lofts or who have lifted boxes of decorations that are too heavy. In an ordinary year, it would be party season and we would also be seeing lots of people coming into the Minor Injury Units because of alcohol-related incidents but we are not expecting as much of that this year.”

The nurse made the revelation as the Powys Teaching Health Board is calling for people to phone first in order to help keep Wales safe:

“The message is simple: help us to help you and phone your Minor Injury Unit before arriving. We started the system at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic because it allows us to book patients in and maintain safe social distancing.

“It allows us to operate a triage system; making sure we get the right patient to the right place at the right time. Sometimes, we refer patients straight to A&E because of the nature of their injury which means they save a wasted journey and get the right treatment as soon as possible. Sometimes the solution lies on the high street – very often, we can advise patients to go to their local pharmacy, optician or dentist.”

There are four Minor Injury Units across Powys – Brecon, Llandrindod Wells, Welshpool and Ystradgynlais. Phoning ahead first also means that the nurse practitioners within the Minor Injury Units can arrange X-ray appointments, if required.

Powys Teaching Health Board was the first of the seven health boards operating in Wales to bring in the phone triage system:

“We were the first to introduce it in Wales and that is because our units tend to be smaller than in other areas. It means that each patient has a booked slot and it gives us the time to clean down surfaces before we see the next patient. We no longer have waiting rooms full of patients – we just have one patient in the department at a time.”


Senior Sister Louise Richards adds:

“There are some patients who are scared to come to hospital because they are worried about catching Covid-19. Often, people have delayed coming in which has made their injury worse. Please don’t be frightened - we all wear full PPE – mask, gloves and apron and they are all changed between each patient and all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned down. Don’t delay – if you feel that something is wrong, contact us.”

The health board works to a four-hour target in which it must admit, assess, treat and discharge. Louise says:

“Since we introduced the new phone first policy, we have had zero breaches of the four-hour target. It is working really well and we encourage everyone to help us help you by continuing to phone first.

“NHS 111 Wales is also available – you can check your symptoms online or give them a call if you need further advice.”


Patients can also refer themselves for physiotherapy and podiatry without visiting a Minor Injury Unit or a GP by picking up a form at a hospital reception.

Always ring 999 if you are suffering from chest pains, severe breathing difficulties, a head injury, loss of consciousness or collapse, stroke symptoms, poisoning, choking or multi-trauma.

To find out more about Minor Injury services, please visit 


Minor Injury Units in Powys are able to treat adults and children aged 2 and over, and are appointment-only during COVID-19:

  • Brecon
    01874 615800 (24 hours a day)
    X-ray opening times: 09:00 – 16:30 pm Monday – Friday, 09:00 – 12:30 at weekends
  • Llandrindod Wells
    01597 828735 (07:00 to 00:00 midnight, every day)
    X-ray opening times: 09:00 – 16:30pm Monday to Friday
  • Welshpool
    01938 558919 / 01938 558931 (08:00 to 20:00, every day)
    X-ray opening times: 08:30 to 17:00 Monday to Friday.
  • Ystradgynlais
    01639 844777 (08:30 to 16:30, Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays)
    Xray opening times: 9:00am – 4pm Monday to Friday