The Urgent Care Centre at Centre Middlesex Hospital under the hospital reconfiguration plans for North West London is due to remain and stay open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. With Accident and Emergency services unlikely to remain at Central Middlesex Hospital, it will play an even more important role in servicing the needs of people in Brent. The Urgent Care Centre at Central Middlesex Hospital is currently outsourced to Care UK, who are a private company.
The Guardian reported in April 2012 that 6,000 X-rays in the possession of Care UK from Central Middlesex Hospital had not been processed. It was logged as a serious incident and investigated.
It was revealed at the recent Health Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny meeting that Care UK knew about the unprocessed X-rays for two weeks and only took an urgent course of action once NHS Brent found out and pressed them on this issue. The NHS Brent representative at the meeting said that they were ‘disappointed’ with Care UK’s response. Sadly, a Care UK representative did not attend the meeting.
Furthermore, it was revealed that the contract does not allow NHS Brent to enforce any fines or penalties on Care UK for their misdemeanour. This lesson must be learned and a penalty should be included in the next contract. Alternative providers must also be explored.