Brent Urgent Care Centre sees decrease in patients as A&E demands rise
- Credit: Archant
An NHS centre in Brent is seeing its numbers fall at a time where A&E waiting times are at an all time high.
Brent Urgent Care Centre, (UCC), based at the Central Middlesex Hospital (CMH) in Acton Lane, Park Royal, has been a fully equipped and operational walk in clinic open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the last four years.
Designed to take the pressure off hospital emergency units, it has become a stand alone unit since the closure of CMH’s A&E last year.
Dr Frank Schneider, lead GP at Brent UCC, said: “Northwick Park is very busy. Some of the footfall has gone there.”
Gary Passaway, UCC manager agreed that people may not realise it’s there. “We have seen a decrease. There’s perhaps a lack of clarity in the community about what’s based in the hospital and an understanding of what we do.”
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Brent UCC, part of Care UK, has 11 permanent GPs, a nurse front of house at all times and provides a skeleton staff of two doctors and a nurse at night.
It has six consultation rooms and a “holding room” for those waiting for transfer to Northwick Park, not unlike an A&E unit in terms of the equipment that it has to keep patients stable.
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Dr Schneider said: “It’s like a GP drop in but deals with urgent but not life threatening issues. We deal with coughs, colds, earaches, also minor injuries, from cuts and bruises, to broken bones and fractures.
“We have Xray units that link directly with NP, A GP surgery will deal with chronic diseases, so someone with asthma wouldn’t come here. Someone who is stabbed would go straight to A&E.”
It has a separate children’s area, with similar modern equipment to the adult section so there is no need to run between them.
Dr Schneider continued: “A third of our patients are children. We can manage 90 per cent of the cases here with the remainder referred to NP.”
This can be for complicated bone fractures, or surgical needs such as appendicitis, he added.
“Demand has increased so much with people presenting to hospitals, the UCC gives people a real choice,” he said.