Tory candidate asks locals to visit hospital more often (sort of)

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.

Purley Hospital signAnd according to Chris Philp, the Conservatives’ parliamentary candidate for Croydon South, Purley’s UCC could have its opening hours reduced further still if more people do not use the NHS facility.

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.

Inside Croydon’s regular correspondent, David Callam, questioned the wisdom of Ottaway’s Purley scheme even before it opened last year.

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?

Chris Philp: sick joke?

Chris Philp: sick joke?

“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.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in 2015 General Election, Chris Philp MP, Croydon South, Health, Purley, Purley Hospital, Richard Ottaway MP and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tory candidate asks locals to visit hospital more often (sort of)

  1. DISGUSTING! Have used it on several occasions and received quick and excellent treatment.
    Do people know of its existence? Are we expected to be ill only between 2pm and 8pm?

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