A MAN who hit his head on a cupboard door was the first patient at Croydon University Hospital's new 'fast-track' surgery service.
Patients needing surgery can be seen, treated and sent home within 48 hours through the new service, which was launched last week.
Conditions such as appendicitis or minor head injuries can now be fast-tracked to the new Surgical Assessment Unit (SAU) if diagnosed in the hospital's Emergency Department (ED).
Vasili Krylossov, 28, of Tooting, was the first ever patient sent to the SAU on Saturday (January 24), after bashing his head on an open cupboard door.
When the cut from the accident became infected he was referred to the ED by his Urgent Care Centre.
Mr Krylossov said: "I had always heard that Croydon University Hospital was a bit of a scary place, my experience however was quite contrary to this, I received great care.
"After first visiting the Urgent Care Centre on Friday and A+E on Saturday night, because my wound was not getting better, it was recommended that I have surgery on Sunday morning in Croydon's SAU, to treat the infection.
"After having my procedure under general anaesthetic, I was able to go home later that day. I felt well enough to go back to work the day after having surgery, which I believe says a lot about my care."
GPs will also be able to refer patients directly to the SAU from the Spring.
The SAU will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has 18 beds in it.
The idea is to reduce the amount of time patients need to spend in the hospital although only patients deemed well enough post-surgery will be discharged within 48 hours.
Stella Vig, lead consultant for the SAU, said: "I am delighted the Trust has invested in this short stay unit. The SAU will help to alleviate avoidable pressures in the Emergency Department – but more importantly it will shorten the time some patients have to wait for surgery.
"After being triaged in the ED, patients will go up to the Unit for specialist care. This will reduce the amount of time people need to spend in hospital and help us to get you well-enough and home with the right ongoing care and support before you know it."