A new Urgent Treatment Centre for North Tyneside is set to open on Monday 1 October 2018.
The centre is part of a new GP-led urgent care service which will care for patients with minor injuries and minor ailments 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The Urgent Treatment Centre will be based at North Tyneside General Hospital (Rake Lane) and will offer appointments any time of day or night, with walk-in access also available from 8am to midnight.
Urgent care services provide care for minor injuries and minor illness and are separate from Emergency Departments, which provide emergency care for people with life-threatening conditions.
Dr Richard Scott, Chair of NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The new urgent treatment centre will offer appointments day and night, as well as the option to just walk in during the day. We’ve also added hundreds of extra appointments with GP practices at evenings and weekends and brought the service together with the out-of-hours home visiting services so that both can operate more efficiently for the benefit of patients.
“We’re calling on everyone to ‘talk before you walk’ – by phoning NHS 111 you can be sure you will see the right service first time, with less need to wait around or be referred on to another service.
“NHS 111 is also making improvements so it will be easier to get clinical advice over the phone without leaving home. If you need urgent care, day or night, it will be there for you.”
The new service replaces the existing walk-in centres at Rake Lane and Battle Hill from 1 October.
Jeremy Rushmer, Executive Medical Director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the new – GP led – urgent care centre to North Tyneside General Hospital (Rake Lane). Not only does it confirm the hospital’s on-going status as one of our most important sites but also offers an absolutely fantastic service to the whole community.
“By consolidating all urgent care services onto the Rake Lane site it means we can be confident of having the right staff, in the right place, at the right time; whatever our patients need.”
NHS leaders are also reminding patients that the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington is for serious injuries and potentially life-threatening emergencies only. Anyone attending the Northumbria Hospital with a non-emergency condition will be referred back to an appointment with the urgent care service or a GP practice.
The changes follow a four-week engagement exercise last year in which the CCG presented its plans to local people and listened to views from over 600 participants. This followed an earlier three-month consultation about urgent care.
The CCG reviewed the findings and agreed plans for the future – including changes based on patients’ feedback. These included extending walk-in hours from the proposed 10pm to midnight, in line with existing services.
Emergency Department (A&E) services are not affected by these changes. Anyone with a medical emergency should dial 999 or attend the Emergency Department at Cramlington or the RVI in Newcastle. If you are not sure which service to use, it’s best to call NHS 111, who can direct you to the right service and arrange transport if this is clinically appropriate.
For a handy guide to using urgent care services in North Tyneside, click here.