HCA will open urgent care walk-in centres at both its London Bridge Hospital and the Portland Hospital following a surge of visits over the winter.

The centre at the Portland Hospital will be the first private urgent care centre for the treatment of children.

Urgent care centres at HCA have seen their busiest winter on record with patient numbers up a third on last winter (35%) and a record 1,000 visits in January.

HCA said it had seen ‘double-digit’ growth in the number of people choosing to self-pay for such treatment, leading it to expand patient choice in these services through  the opening of these new centres.

Dr Helen Mitakidis, lead doctor of HCA’s  existing urgent care centres said: ‘Not only do patients benefit from fast access, but they also benefit from having the back-up of hospitals facilities. That means that, unlike other private urgent care services that have to refer patients elsewhere for follow up treatment, we are able to provide patients with direct access to further investigations and treatments, whether that be consultant advice and review, inpatient care, MRI scanning and much more.’

Visitors to HCA’s facilities, on average, wait just  seven minutes to see a nurse and 17 minutes to see a doctor.