Washington and Houghton urgent care services will close this month - this is how far you'll have to travel to other centres
Plans to overhaul urgent care services in Sunderland will see two urgent care centres closed from Thursday, August 1.
NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).claims patients will be able to access urgent care closer as GP surgeries will be providing extra appointments on evenings, weekends and bank holidays.
The current urgent care services at Houghton and Washington health centres will end on Wednesday, July 31. The other NHS services based at these centres will not be affected.
The nearest urgent care centres available will be Pallion Health Centre, 6.5 miles from Washington and 5.8 miles from Houghton or Bunny Hill Health Centre, 5.4 miles from Washington and 8.5 miles from Houghton.
Urgent care centres available at Pallion or Bunny Hill health centres will be open from 10am to 10pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays. No appointment is needed for these services.
The move comes despite a campaign to keep the centres open.
The trust said the changes are needed because of duplication and how confusing the current system was perceived to be.
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Patient’s should call NHS 111 if they have an urgent need which is not life-threatening, the NHS trust has said.
Dr Tracey Lucas, a local GP and Clinical Lead at NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “From 1 August 2019, the best way to access NHS urgent care services will be to contact your GP practice or local pharmacy, or call NHS 111 when they are closed.
“Once the changes are in place, it will be easier for patients to get care closer to home and see the right professional for their needs, first time.
“The urgent care centre at Pallion will be upgraded to become an Urgent Treatment Centre in December. We have therefore arranged for the urgent care service at Bunny Hill to stay open until then, to provide an extra option for patients.
“We will always ensure that the right care is there for you when you need it, but we ask people to remember that many minor illnesses can be treated at home, or with advice from a local pharmacist.”
Urgent care is for minor injuries or illnesses which need medical attention the same day but are not serious enough for the Emergency Department.