St. Joseph’s Health Care London is extending the hours at its Urgent Care Centre (UCC) to 8 am - 6 pm Monday to Friday beginning March 1, 2013. Hours will remain at 8 am to 4 pm on weekends and holidays.
“We’re pleased to be in a position to extend our hours and are able to do so because of the efforts of many. We want to thank our physicians and their leaders who have spearheaded the successful recruitment of new emergency physicians, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for their support in approving an alternate funding plan for physicians, our staff for their commitment and dedication, and the community for their patience throughout this process,” says Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, St. Joseph’s president and CEO.
The extension of hours at St. Joseph’s UCC completes the recommendations made to the hospitals by Dr. Kevin Smith in his 2011 report on London’s emergency/urgent care system. Hours of operation in the UCC were reduced in July 2010 and again in December 2010 due to the shortage of emergency physicians in London and the need to ensure the city’s emergency departments were fully staffed first. Since January 2012, 15 new emergency physicians have been recruited and ongoing processes are in place to sustain staffing requirements.
“I know how important it is for families in our community to have access to the UCC,” said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “Working together, the South West LHIN, St. Joseph’s, my ministry and physicians are ensuring that Londoners have more access to high quality urgent care services when they need it.”
“With the success of recruitment and a stable physician funding arrangement, we are able to assure stable hours of operation,” adds Dr. Robin Walker, vice president, medical affairs and medical education. “We want to ensure we’re providing the right care at the right time, when people have an urgent or emergency need.”
St. Joseph’s UCC treats patients with non-life threatening injury or illness. If you have chest pains or severe stomach pains, go to the nearest emergency department right away, or if you have care needs that can be addressed by your family physician ensure you visit them and allow patients with urgent needs to be cared for at the UCC.
At the request of the South West Local Health Integration Network, in June 2011, Dr. Kevin Smith completed a review of the state of medical coverage for the city of London’s Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centre. Dr. Smith presented a report of his findings, including 14 recommendations for action in the areas of communication, access, coverage and long term strategies.
St. Joseph’s Urgent Care Centre
St. Joseph’s Urgent Care Centre provides services to individuals of all ages who have a non-life threatening injury or illness. This includes:
- Eye injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Minor burns
- Nose and throat complaints
- Flu-like illness
- Pain – abdomen, pelvic and back
For more information on where you should go for care, visit http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/hco