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Publication Date: 22/07/2009 

MINTS Graduates 

Improving care and reducing waiting 

Photo of MINTS graduates Lyndsey Fearns and Joan Gold  

Endeavour awards: MINTS graduates Lyndsey Fearns and Joan Gold received special awards for their efforts. 

Forty seven NHS Lanarkshire nurses will help improve patient care and reduce waiting times after graduating from an innovative course.

The Minor/Major Injury/Illness Nurse Treatment Service (MINTS) programme was launched in 2007.

It provides nurses with the skills to deal with minor and major injuries and illnesses, which helps reduce the time patients have to wait for treatment.

At a ceremony at the University of the West of Scotland the latest nurses to take part in the programme received their certificates.

Paul Wilson, executive director of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHPs), presented the new graduates with their awards.

He said: “The most important thing about the MINTS programme is that it improves patient care, by providing effective care more quickly.

“MINTS is also important because it’s another example of how nurses are supporting medical colleagues to provide medical services as changes occur in the training arrangements for doctors - known as modernising medical careers. 

“It therefore demonstrates the close working relationship that should exist between nurses and doctors which is so essential to providing first class care to patients.”

Graduates received awards for MINTS from a variety of clinical settings including, accident and emergency, acute medical and surgical receiving units, community hospitals and treatment rooms.

Rosemary Lyness, director of acute services, said: “MINTS nurses are making a significant contribution to service delivery.

“Indeed, they are on target to see, treat and discharge around 50,000 patients within the accident and emergency service by the end of the year.”

Gillian Corbett, lead nurse of the MINTS project, said: “While many patients are being treated by the MINTS nurses within the acute accident and emergency setting, many more are being managed in primary care settings such as treatment rooms, district nursing services, out of hours services and community hospitals.”

At the ceremony two practitioners, Lyndsey Fearns and Joan Gold, were given endeavour awards for the additional work they did during their MINTS studies.

Lyndsey, staff nurse in the medical receiving unit at Hairmyres Hospital, graduated as a level four Major Practitioner.

She was rewarded for making the very best of every opportunity to work both on site and other sites to broaden her experience and is now working as a Major’s practitioner within the unit support the medical receiving teams.

Joan, staff nurse in Lady Home Community Hospital, graduated as a level four Minor’s Practitioner.

She has spread her wings and worked with the ears, nose and throat nurse specialists, GPs and attended all the mentorship sessions at Wishaw General Hospital. 

Joan now provides the full service (see/treat/discharge) for people with minor injuries at Lady Home, preventing the need for onward transfer to accident and emergency. 

The seventh cohort of the MINTS programme is currently running and it is hoped these students will graduate next year.