Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Walk-In Centre Will No Longer Be Open 24 Hours

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Walk-In Centre Will No Longer Be Open 24 Hours

Article excerpt

Byline: SONIA SHARMA Reporter

NORTH Tyneside is to get a new round-the-clock urgent care service from October - but there will not be any 24-hour walk-in centres.

The new GP-led healthcare service, commissioned by NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), will open at North Tyneside General Hospital on Rake Lane on October 1. At the moment, people are able to walk into the urgent care centre at Rake Lane between 8am and midnight.

There have previously been calls for this to be extended to 24 hours a day, however the new model will keep the current opening hours for the walk-in service. During the rest of the night, patients will be able to ring NHS 111 and ask for GP appointments.

Meanwhile, the Battle Hill walk-in service, which currently opens from 8am to 8pm, will close. The GP practice on site will stay.

Health bosses say the new model was agreed after a consultation process and stress urgent care services, led by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, will be available roundthe-clock.

These changes will integrate all urgent care to one place and patients will be able to book appointments 24/7 as well as having the option to walk in between 8am and midnight.

There will also be a GP out-ofhours service offering advice, help and home visits.

Following a review of attendance figures, health chiefs found having an overnight walk-in centre put pressure on staff and resources as very few patients attended - fewer than three per night on average.

Dr Richard Scott, a GP and chairman of North Tyneside CCG, said: "This is a positive step for patients in North Tyneside. With a range of services working more closely together, the new service will mean patients getting the right care first time as well as better use of NHS resources. …

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