Standards at Croydon’s urgent care centre (UCC) have not improved and people are still ‘potentially’ at risk, according to a damning report published today.

But Virgin Care, which runs the centre in London Road, Croydon, says it has already addressed the issues uncovered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC document outlines the inspection carried out in September, which was ordered after inspectors who visited the entire hospital last July were so concerned about the unit.

During the latest inspection the UCC was assessed on four standards and it failed to reach any of them.

In terms of people getting safe and appropriate care, the inspectors were concerned when they did not see any clinical staff surveying the waiting room.

They think without the monitoring of the waiting area people’s conditions could deteriorate while they wait to be seen by medical staff.

Inspectors found patients were confused with the different queues in the waiting room and found the lack of information about waiting times was unhelpful.

And they felt patients were not treated with adequate dignity and respect.

The inspectors also found the UCC needs to take action to support its workers, especially over the streaming process where receptionists assess who is deemed to be a priority and who they should be seen by.

One clinician told the inspectors: “It is a really important decision where someone goes and I don't know how you can make that decision if you are not a clinician."

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And the inspectors found the service did not have quality checking systems to manage risks and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care.

They saw there was a weekly meeting between staff from the emergency department and the urgent care centre.

But they were not convinced there was an adequate quality assurance system in place to monitor the streaming process.

The report says the CQC was shown an action plan by the UCC after the inspection in July but this was not in force during the September inspection.

The UCC has until February 12 to produce a report to show what steps it will take to meet the standards.

Results of the inspections are being taken very seriously

A spokesman for Virgin Care, which runs the UCC, says it has already met the issues addressed by the CQC.

He said: “Following the inspection in July last year we put in place an action plan in line with the CQC’s process, which has already addressed the issues the report highlighted, and we would welcome the CQC back to inspect these improvements.”

And the assistant clinical chairman of the Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Agnelo Fernandes, says the CCG and Virgin Care has taken the results of the inspections very seriously.

He said: “We have been working closely to address these issues and are confident the measures we have all put in place are delivering the required improvements.

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely to ensure the urgent care centre delivers any further improvements to care that are necessary.”