Urgent Care Centre
Hounslow Urgent Care Centre – Q&A
We are proud to have been chosen to pilot the new Urgent Care Centre at West Middlesex Hospital, which opened on Tuesday 20 March 2012.
This page will help you to understand what an urgent care centre is, how it works and the type of patients that the Urgent Care Centre treats.
Where is the new Urgent Care Centre?
Hounslow Urgent Care Centre has opened at West Middlesex University Hospital, at the front of the accident and emergency department (A&E). The centre is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year – treating a range of minor illnesses and minor injuries that require urgent and immediate attention.
What is an Urgent Care Centre?
An Urgent Care Centre provides care and treatment for patients with non life threatening injuries and illnesses that require immediate attention, such as infections, rashes, fractures, stomach upsets, burns or sprains. For less urgent cases, the centre helps patients access a service closer to home such as their GP.
The centre is staffed by GPs (family doctors) and experienced nurses. If a patient has a life threatening or serious condition such as a heart attack, stroke, breathing problem or has been involved in a serious accident, they will be seen in the A&E department as they would normally.
Why has it been opened?
NHS emergency services, such as A&E are under increasing pressure with the number of people going to A&E at West Middlesex steadily rising year on year. 105,000 people were seen in 2010 – that’s 45,000 more than the A&E department was designed for when it opened in 2003.
One out of every four people who currently go to A&E could have either self-treated for minor illnesses and injuries or been treated by other local health services such as a GP, walk-in centre or pharmacist. We want to ensure people are seen by the most appropriate service for their condition.
How does the Urgent Care Centre work?
On arrival at the Urgent Care Centre, you will be assessed promptly by a GP and a decision will be made as to how best to treat you and who you need to see.
If you have a serious or life threatening condition you will be seen immediately in the A&E. If your condition is urgent, you will be seen by a GP or nurse in the Urgent Care Centre. Otherwise, if you do not require immediate medical attention, you will be referred back to your GP or local pharmacist.
Who runs Hounslow Urgent Care Centre?
Hounslow Urgent Care Centre is run by Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust. The Trust works in partnership with West Middlesex Hospital University NHS Trust who continue to run the A&E.
Does this mean you will be closing the A&E department?
No. There will be a full emergency service at West Middlesex University Hospital. The Urgent Care Centre complements this service, ensuring the A&E only sees the people who really need its services.