The Urgent Care Centre at Purley Hospital, opened just a few months ago after a £11million refurbishment of the century-old buildings, is to have its opening hours halved because of a lack of demand.
Fewer than 20 people a day have been using the UCC. That works out at less than two patients an hour. From April 1, the UCC will only be open from 2pm to 8pm.
This is a sad development so soon after the UCC at Purley Hospital opened following such strong lobbying to spend millions of public money at the former cottage hospital, much of the campaigning have been led by “Sir” Tricky Dicky Ottaway, the local MP who Philp hopes to replace in 2015.
“I have been lobbying ministers hard on this issue and I am therefore absolutely delighted with the announcement made by the health secretary this afternoon, of additional funding being made available for health projects, with £11 million being earmarked especially for the refurbishment of Purley Hospital,” Ottaway said in 2012 when taking the credit for the significant public spend in his constituency.
“The Board of Croydon Health Services, which will manage the re-development plans, has in the past been somewhat reluctant to progress such plans,” Ottaway noted at the time. It would seem that CHS’s board had good reason for its reluctance to spend public money on a service for which there is insufficient need.
As we now from events a week ago, “Sir” Tricky Dicky, the MP who trembles at the sight of a group of his constituents, especially 81-year-old OAPs, has hardly got his fingers on the pulse, neither in terms of meeting the public nor, apparently, on medical matters.
“The re-development of Purley Hospital is long overdue and is an important local issue which I have been pushing hard on for years. I have consistently made the point that residents in the south of the borough should have access to high quality outpatient services delivered from a fully refurbished local facility,” Ottaway said at the time.
It is a sad tale of NHS funds being misdirected to satisfy a politician’s ego, when across the borough GPs are angrily complaining of having their preventative care budgets cut and when just a few miles up the Brighton Road at Mayday, in the north of Croydon, there is constant evidence of lack of resources and overwhelming demand for medical services, urgent and otherwise.
A little perversely, perhaps, Philp has effectively asked the people of Croydon South to present at Purley Hospital more often. Does he want his prospective constituents to be more ill or injured?
“There is an excellent, fairly new, Urgent Care Centre at the Purley Memorial Hospital…” self-made millionaire Philp writes in his latest newsletter to the constituency.
“If usage levels remain low, there is the risk of a further reduction in service. Anyone who may benefit from using this centre as an alternative to A&E (which is for major emergency problems) or your GP (for non-urgent or for routine enquires [sic]) is urged to use it to ensure that it remains available to the community.”
Use it or lose it, Croydon.
Coming to Croydon
- Edward Keszkiewicz art exhibition, Jan 21-Feb 1
- Cronx Brewery open day, Jan 25
- Holocaust Memorial concert, Jan 25
- STDLCC Screening: Winter Nomads, Jan 27
- Lake Conan Doyle re-naming ceremony, Feb 1
- Give and Take Day, Surrey Street, Feb 1
- Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society, Feb 3
- Babylon at the Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 4-6
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Purley Swimathon: Feb 8 and 13
- Mark Steel at Ashcroft Theatre, Feb 12
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 20
- Mr Pooter comes to Croydon, Feb 20-22
- Stop the Incinerator fund-raiser, Feb 24
- Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society, Mar 3
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Mar 20
- Croydon Half-marathon, Mar 30
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