December 18 2018
Penny Daniels, hospital director at the centre in Milton Road, said: “Christmas is becoming an increasingly busy time for us, as people realise there is an alternative to A&E for minor burns, cuts, fractures and illness. We have X-ray facilities, advance nurse and paramedic practitioners who can prescribe, and much shorter waiting times than you would expect at a busy general hospital.”
Visitors to the centre will be greeted by receptionist Anna Codlin, who will be working for the first time at Christmas, and Alison Levesque who will be completing her 11th Christmas in 14 years.
Alison, from Paulsgrove, said: “I have already enjoyed a Christmas dinner with my husband, children and grandchildren. We had the full Christmas dinner, exchanged presents and had a lovely time.
“Christmas has become busier in the UTC over the years. We see cuts from people having slipped while carving their turkey and from broken glasses as they wash up, as well as people seeking support for ongoing medical problems.”
To ensure those unlucky enough to visit the UTC don’t feel too glum, the team have been decorating. Anna said: “I don’t mind working, as it lets colleagues have time with their family. We have decorated the centre with tinsel so it looks cheerful, and Alison and I have chosen some very festive jumpers to wear on the day.
“Our manager has also asked us what nibbles we would like to have on the day so our spirits will be kept up with some tasty treats.”
The centre is open on weekends and bank holidays between 8am-10pm; and a GP is on site between 10am-2pm and 4pm-8pm. The service is open to all NHS patients, with no appointments required.
Penny said: “If you’re unsure of where to go and require further advice, please call 111. They can give you advice and, if appropriate they can book an appointment for you with us at the UTC. However, in an emergency, always dial 999.”
Current waiting times at the UTC can be found at hwww.stmarystreatmentcentre.nhs.uk/utc