A new £1million urgent treatment centre has opened at Epsom Hospital.

The new department will make sure people needing urgent but non-emergency treatment, such as needing stitches or having run out of asthma medication, get it without impacting life-saving cases in A&E.

Dr Amir Hassan, clinical director for urgent care at Epsom and St Helier hospitals, said: “Our staff work incredibly hard to make sure that patients who come to us for urgent or emergency treatment are provided with compassionate care in a timely way – that is something that we pride ourselves on, and the commitment runs right through our organisation.

“However, there are times, such as this incredibly busy winter, when that is not an easy task and some patients with less urgent conditions experience long waits in A&E as we care for the sickest patients.

"Our new Urgent Treatment Centre will allow us to make sure patients get seen by the right people as quickly as is possible.”

The centre has been built alongside A&E, on the site of the old antenatal waiting room in the Bradbury Wing.

It will be open 24 hours a day.

Now, patients who do not arrive by ambulance will initially be seen by a nurse who will decide whether they need urgent attention or not.

Chief executive Daniel Elkeles said: “I am so proud to be a chief executive of an organisation where even a record breaking winter like this one cannot stand in the way of progress.

"After months of hard work, the new Urgent Treatment Centre at Epsom is now open, and is already making a difference to the way we work.”