HEALTH bosses have confirmed no prior appointment is required for patients with minor injuries, following mass confusion in town.

It has become widely believed that an appointment only system has been introduced at the minor injury at Fryatt Hospital, which has caused concerns for many residents.

A spokesman for the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)has however confirmed that is not the case and anyone can use the service without any prior bookings.

Residents who suffer wounds, sprains, strains, minor dislocations or suspected fractures are all encouraged to walk into the hospital for assistance.

They can also seek help without any prior booking in the unlikely events of burns and scalds, bites and stings, removing foreign bodies and minor head injuries.

A spokesman for the North East Essex CCG added: "The Urgent Treatment Service at Fryatt Hospital, Harwich, is a nurse-led service which is open between 9am and 5pm every day including weekends and public holidays, for assessment and treatment of minor injuries.

"Please note that in busy periods, in order to ensure that we maintain safe infection control requirements, you may be given an appointment to return later in the day, if your injury does not require immediate treatment.

"For any emergency needing urgent or immediate treatment, such as chest pain, severe uncontrolled pain or bleeding, acute shortness of breath or severe injury, you should call 999 or go to the nearest emergency department.

"For residents of Harwich, this is located at Colchester Hospital."

The speculation around an appointment only system have also been addressed during a Harwich Town Council meeting on Tuesday night.

Councillor Maria Fowler added: "It was both worrying and dangerous that local residents believed that they had to have an appointment before they could attend our local minor injury unit and we are very pleased to be able to confirm that this is not the case.

"We do not know how this belief arose but the important thing is that the Clinical Commissioning Group has stated publicly that anyone can walk into the MIU for help without an appointment.

"It is important that everyone knows this.”