Concern after health chiefs stall plans to reveal findings of controversial urgent care consultation

Health bosses have shelved plans to reveal the findings of a controversial consultation on the future of urgent care in Sunderland.

Monday, 1st October 2018, 5:57 pm
Updated Monday, 1st October 2018, 6:02 pm

About 2,500 people responded to the survey and were expecting to see a draft report today.

But Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which organised the study, has now put this on hold until further notice.

In a statement, a CCG spokeswoman said: “Due to circumstances outside of our control we have no option but to rearrange our feedback sessions that we had planned.

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“This is because the independent company that we have commissioned require more time to complete the analysis and our commitment is to make sure that we are having a fully informed and meaningful conversation during this feedback phase.

“We apologise for the inconvenience that this may cause and we will be in touch soon with new dates.”

As well as the publication of a draft report, the CCG had also scheduled a public meeting at Bede Tower, in Burndon Road, Sunderland, to share the findings, which has also been cancelled.

A new date for the release of the consultation findings is expected to be confirmed this week.

The CCG unveiled its plans for a new system of urgent care in Sunderland in May.

Currently, patients can be treated for non life-threatening injuries at primary care centres in Houghton, Washington and Bunny Hill.

The proposals would see would see urgent care services available only at Pallion Health Centre and some GP practices offering urgent and planned appointments on evenings and weekends.

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson was unimpressed with the decision.

She said: “They say they’re following the rules to the letter and that is probably the case.

“But the point is to listen to people and I urge that they do listen to what people have said.

“If the responses show that they don’t want this to go ahead I hope they abandon the proposals.

“They can do reforms to make [urgent care] work better, but they say people are confused about where to go, then they should help them understand – closing centres will not make it better.”

ASV Research Ltd, the ‘independent company’ contracted to carry out the consultation, has been contacted for comment.


James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service