North Tyneside CCG News

NHS decides on future shape of urgent care services in North Tyneside

Mon 24th October 2016

A major review of NHS urgent care in North Tyneside has taken an important step forward as local doctors and nurses agreed to provide a 24-hour urgent care service at a single site for the first time.

The Governing Body of NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) met today [Tuesday 25 October 2016] to consider a recommendation on the best way to replace existing walk-in centres at Battle Hill, North Tyneside General Hospital and Shiremoor Paediatric Minor Injuries Unit.

The Governing Body, meeting in public at its North Shields base, agreed to replace the existing facilities with a single, 24-hour urgent care service with effect from 1 October 2017.

The CCG will now start a formal procurement process, which will decide on both an appropriate location and provider for the new integrated service. The existing walk-in services at North Tyneside General Hospital, Battle Hill Health Centre and Shiremoor Health Centre will be decommissioned by 30 September 2017.

Dr John Matthews, a local GP and Chair of NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “This is an important step which will improve care by bringing facilities together in one place as a 24-hour service. As doctors and nurses we have a duty to provide the best possible services while cutting out duplication and making efficient use of our resources.

“We are grateful to more than 700 people who took the time to share their views on a range of different scenarios for the future, and this has played a big part in shaping our thinking. It was important to recognise that the current system, with services providing similar care in several locations, is not the best use of resources at a time when the NHS is under increasing pressure.

“We received some positive responses to the concept of a 24/7 urgent care centre, as well as a number of issues being raised around things like transport and facilities,” added Dr Matthews. “All this information has been analysed by an independent organisation, and the findings were considered in detail alongside other clinical, financial and legal evidence before the recommendation was put forward.

“The next step will be a procurement process with the aim of securing the best possible service and the best possible value for the people of North Tyneside. The consultation showed an overall preference for Rake Lane, and this will be considered alongside other factors like quality and value for money when we consider tenders to provide the service.”

Earlier this year, the CCG and its partners put forward four alternative scenarios for the future shape of urgent care services:

  • Scenario 1: A single North Tyneside Urgent Care Centre based at North Tyneside General Hospital (Rake Lane)
  • Scenario 2: A single North Tyneside Urgent Care Centre based at Battle Hill
  • Scenario 3: A single North Tyneside Urgent Care Centre based at North Tyneside General Hospital (Rake Lane), supported by locality-based minor ailments services in three other areas (Killingworth, Wallsend, Whitley Bay)
  • Scenario 4: A single North Tyneside Urgent Care Centre based at Battle Hill, supported by locality-based minor ailments services in three other areas (Killingworth, Wallsend, Whitley Bay)

Urgent care is any form of medical attention that people need to access quickly but that is not serious enough to need a visit to the Emergency Department (A&E). This could include injuries, an illness or medical condition which needs advice from a GP, pharmacist, NHS 111, a walk-in centre or the out-of-hours GP service.

Existing services are provided at Battle Hill walk-in centre, North Tyneside General Hospital, and Shiremoor Paediatric Minor Injuries Unit as well as GP out of hours services.

The consultation process, which got underway early last year, has been independently reviewed by The Consultation Institute and found to be consistent with recognised standards of best practice. All the evidence and papers relating to the consultation process and findings are available at www.northtynesideccg.nhs.uk.