Enter and view: Virgin Urgent Care Centre, Croydon

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Croydon conducted an Enter and View visit to Virgin Urgent Care Centre, Croydon, on 29 March 2014. The visit was prompted by the chair of Healthwatch Croydon meeting senior staff of Virgin Urgent Care Centre who invited Healthwatch Croydon to come and visit at any time to come and see how services are delivered. Healthwatch Croydon’s advisory group saw an article titled “CQC raises serious concerns about Urgent Care Centre”. The article was based on the CQC inspection report from September 2013. The article outlined the issues that: some patients’ conditions worsened potentially as a result of waiting longer than the 20 minute target before being assessed; patients being inappropriately sent to the Urgent Care Centre instead of A&E because of poor triage; patients not being given appropriate information in relation to their treatment; patients with special needs not receiving the assistance they need (e.g. access to hearing loop); and staff claims that provision of care to adults is not safe. The A&E service at Croydon University Hospital is delivered by two providers: Virgin Care deliver the Urgent Care Centre and Croydon University Hospital deliver the A&E Department. Patients can transfer between the two services, without knowing that they have been transferred to a different provider or process. This means that, while care has been taken, patient comments contained within the report may refer unknowingly to the care delivered by the A&E service rather than Urgent Care. The report provides the patient view of the waiting time, triage process and of the patient experience of the consultation (if patients wanted to discuss this as they were leaving). The Authorised Representatives observed some miscommunication between staff and patients leading to a breakdown in the triage system, patients not being asked if they had particular communication needs, and longer waits for patients triaged as needing to go to A&E than those needing to see Urgent care staff. The recommendations made are based on observations, conversation with patients and with staff. There is no provider response contained within the report.

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General details

Report title 
Enter and view: Virgin Urgent Care Centre, Croydon
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Croydon
Date of publication 
Saturday, 29 March, 2014
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 29 March, 2014
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 29 March, 2014
Type of report 
Enter and view
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Quality of staffing
Quality of treatment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff levels
Staff training
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
Not Known

Details of health and care services included in the report

Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency
Urgent care services

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Deafness or severe hearing impairment
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Service manager
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.