"Urgent care centre leaves a lot to be desired"

About: Croydon University Hospital

I chose to go to the urgent care centre after failing to get an appointment with my GP and calling NHS 111 about making the best choice for advice about stabbing pains in my foot. I have a rare longterm condition and I am prone to repeated injuries. On their advice I went to the urgent care centre to get short term advice whilst I wait for more specialist advice. I was seen by a member of staff who took my temperature, blood pressure etc. For a pain in my foot? Why? He didn't speak English so he couldn't explain it to me. I then waited 2 hours to be seen by a nurse practitioner who had never heard of my condition. She said I needed specialist advice so there is nothing the urgent care centre can do. If you have an obvious condition like a broken leg, and you don't mind not being able to communicate with the people looking after you, this may be the best choice for you. Otherwise, go somewhere else.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Croydon University Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback here and I am sorry that you were not happy with the experience you had at Croydon UCC. As you might already be aware, the UCC is designed to treat those people who need urgent treatment but who do not need to use A&E. The UCC is not intended, nor able, to help you to manage long term conditions and the team will therefore refer you back to your GP or a specialist. Where possible, of course, the team would seek to help you with any short-term effects of your condition that they can, but this can be difficult with very limited access to your medical records and history. I am concerned that you feel the gentlemen who you initially were assessed by was not able to communicate with you, but I would like to reassure you of our process. In order to ensure that everyone is treated by the right member of staff, and in a timely manner, all patients – regardless of their stated problem – are seen within 20 minutes by a Healthcare Assistant who takes vital signs. This ensures that patients are safe to wait for the UCC. I am very sorry that we were not able to help you, and I wish you all the best in bringing your condition under control. If you would like to discuss this matter then do not hesitate to contact us in the service, or if you would prefer to speak to someone independent of the service then please call Virgin Care Customer Services on 0300 303 9509.

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