An urgent care centre staffed by general practitioners as well as emergency nurse practitioners has opened at Guy's Hospital in place of the former minor injuries unit.
The nurse-led minor injuries unit at Guy's – which opened in 1999 when accident and emergency services were concentrated at St Thomas' Hospital – had been operating a reduced service since 2010 when its operating hours were cut from 12 hours a day to just eight hours.
Now the MIU has been replaced by an urgent care centre with the addition of GPs from the Decima Street-based Bermondsey & Lansdowne Medical Mission.
The new service – which had been planned to launch last summer – opened without fanfare in mid-July and will receive a formal opening in September.
The centre is now open 8am-8pm 365 days a year. An NHS leaflet explains that the urgent care centre "is an NHS service for patients whose condition is urgent enough that they cannot wait for the next GP appointment but who do not require emergency treatment at A&E".
The leaflet gives broken bones, wounds, sprains, bites, burns and scalds as examples of the conditions that can be dealt with at the UCC. NHS bosses advise that anyone with these types of injury is likely to be seen more quickly at Guy's Hospital than at the accident and emergency department at St Thomas' Hospital.
UCC staff can also treat minor illnesses in children and adults such as fever, infections and rashes.
The new service has been commissioned by the Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group which has inherited its responsibilities from Southwark Primary Care Trust.