Festive first aiders return to Birmingham

With the party season upon us, the Temporary Minor Injuries Unit is back in Birmingham for its seventh year to treat worse for wear revellers.

Based on Broad Street, the TMIU is as much a part of the city centre’s fixtures and fittings as the Christmas lights and the big wheel are during December. It will, once again, be providing 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 TMIU is a successful partnership venture 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. The TMIU is kitted out to provide patients who arrive at the unit by ambulance or by foot with fast and efficient treatment to avoid a long wait in accident and emergency. 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.

Nathan Hudson, Birmingham General Manager said: “Weekend visitors to Birmingham may have already noticed our presence on Broad Street as we’ve been operating a smaller scale treatment unit on Broad Street for the best part of two years. This runs each Friday and Saturday night, treating an average of 60 – 80 patients each weekend.

“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.

“On New Year’s Eve last year, more than 80 patients were treated at the TMIU and avoided a night at hospital. 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.”

Alex Hayward, British Red Cross Ambulance Support Co-ordinator in the West Midlands, said: “We work closely with WMAS and other agencies 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.”

Keith Hunter, 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 service.”

The TMIU will be located at the House of Sport on Broad Street on Friday 20th, Saturday 21st and Tuesday 31st December and is operational between 8.00pm and 4.00am.


Picture (c) WMAS.