what are urgent care centres

What are Urgent Care Centres?

Have you heard others refer to “Urgent Care Centres” but are unsure about exactly what they are and when they should be accessed?


Urgent Care Centres offer an alternative to A&E for urgent, but non-life threatening medical conditions.


Urgent Care Centres are for patients who have suffered a minor injury or have symptoms which are no more than 48 hours old. You should have an urgent need to see a GP or nurse, but your condition should not be life-threatening or an emergency.


We provide an Urgent Care Centre at St Mark’s Hospital Maidenhead, which is staffed by urgent care nurses. Unlike Primary Care Centres, you are not required to make an appointment before attending. However if you are at all unsure whether your particular condition can be treated at an Urgent Care Centre, it is advisable to call the UCC directly on 0300 024 2000.  Patients are usually seen in order of arrival, unless there are instances of more urgent cases.


The UCC at St Marks is open:

  • 8.30am – 5.00pm Monday – Friday
  • 9.00am – 1.00pm Weekends
  • 9.00am – 1.00pm Bank Holidays


Examples of the types of injuries treated at the urgent care centre at St Marks are listed below:

  • Bites, stings and allergic reactions
  • Foot and hand injuries including dislocations
  • Head injuries (but not loss of consciousness)
  • Nose bleeds/facial injuries
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Strains and sprains
  • Back pain
  • Panic attacks
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Eye problems (please also consider the Eye Casualty at King Edward VII Hospital in Windsor)
  • Burns/scalds
  • Rashes
  • Fever
  • Viral illness
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Convulsions
  • Croup

The UCC at St Marks is also able to offer offer additional services including:

  • Prescribing medicines.
  • A weekday x-ray service for minor fractures (e.g. wrists and ankles). This is not available for patients under the age of 2.  The specially trained UCC nurses request on-site x-rays where appropriate. Patients with more serious injuries are referred to A&E.
  • Strong links with local GP surgeries and other NHS services.

A nurse led Urgent Care Centre is available at Brants Bridge Healthspace in Bracknell, but this is not run by East Berkshire Primary Care Out of Hours Service.