New St John’s Wood casualty unit will cut waiting time

Private centre to provide local people with convenient, urgent care

A private casualty unit offering to treat minor injuries without the usual long waiting times is to open in a St John’s Wood hospital.

Casualty Plus, which will be located in the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth on Grove End Road, will allow people to pay to be seen in minutes and avoid long waits associated with NHS Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.

The hospital, which will make money from the new centre, uses its surplus funds for its on-site St John’s Hospice which provides free care to terminally ill patients.

David Marshall, chief executive of the hospital, says Casualty Plus will provide people with an alternative to visiting the nearest A&E which is at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead.

He says it will also help A&Es by relieving pressure on them.

“It has been apparent for some time that there is a need for a ‘walk-in’ urgent care centre within the local community,” he said. As a hospital within the area we are delighted to announce the opening of Casualty Plus, which will provide local people with urgent care facilities conveniently located at the front of the hospital.

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“For those people in need, it will provide the same world-class medical care that is already on offer within the hospital itself, while at the same time helping to support our on-site charity, St John’s Hospice, which provides free care for 800 terminally ill patients each year.”

The casualty unit, which will be run by the Casualty Plus Group in association with the hospital, is set to open its doors in June.

Patients will be expected to pay about �100 for initial consultations with further charges for follow-up treatments.

Bharat Shah, Casualty Plus chief operating officer said: “In the NHS A&E departments there’s a lot of delay because of the high workload they have to deal with.

“With our clinic the delays will be kept to an absolute minimum. There will be very little waiting time at all as we try to streamline the process. One of the key things is that we are a doctor-led centre. Some other services are nurse-led and then doctors are on call later, but in our clinic we will always have doctors available.

“We believe that with the doctors we have, who come from an A&E background, we can provide a holistic approach to dealing with the needs of our patients.”

He says the centre’s location within the hospital will be vital in ensuring St John’s Wood residents learn of the services on offer.

“The hospital is very much embedded in the local area,” he said. “It is such a location of excellence and already works to such a high standard.

“We feel that the values the hospital has are the same as those we want to provide for our patients.”

Later this summer the hospital will also become the first private hospital in the UK to have a state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner.

The scanner, which will be unveiled as part of a new �1.8million facility, will offer scans at twice the strength of conventional MRI scanners.