Delay to urgent care changes in Sunderland as NHS acts on patient concerns

Changes to urgent care services in Sunderland will be delayed until August so that the local NHS can take extra steps to address patients’ concerns.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 15:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 10:58 am
Houghton walk-in centre is one of three whose closure was rubber-stamped.

The changes, which will mean patients only need to call their GP practice or 111 to access urgent healthcare, will now take place on August 1, 2019, instead of April as planned.

Health chiefs say this will allow time for improvements to the reception area and better arrangements for car parking at the new Urgent Treatment Centre at Pallion.

Dr Tracey Lucas, a local GP and Clinical Lead at NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We have made a number of changes to our plans in response to comments from patients, and we also promised to take a closer look at concerns about parking and reception facilities at Pallion.

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“I’m pleased that we are now able to create a better reception space, including a waiting area for children. At the same time, we are looking into options to make it easier to get a parking space at Pallion. That means a short delay while the work is finished, so that we can address people’s concerns quickly and safely.

“Once the changes are in place, people will only need to call their GP practice or 111 to access urgent healthcare, so that more patients will get care closer to home and see the right professional for their needs, first time.”

Services will continue in their current form until 31 July

From August 1, 2019, you only need to call your own GP practice or 111 to access urgent healthcare. They can link you in to the best service for your needs. These will include:

o An urgent treatment centre at Pallion Health Centre, open 10am to 10pm, Monday to Friday; and 8am - 10pm at weekends and bank holidays.

o GP Extended Access services open 6pm - 8.30pm, Monday to Friday, 9am - 5.30pm at weekends, and 10am - 2pm on bank holidays at five handy locations in central Sunderland, Bunny Hill, Pallion, Houghton and Washington.

o Patients will be able to access minor injury services at the urgent treatment centre and by appointment at the Sunderland Extended Access Service in Houghton Primary Care Centre and Washington Primary Care Centre.

o A Recovery at Home service which supports patients who need more help while they are getting back to normal after a short-term illness or injury in their own home, a care home or on discharge from hospital

o The new system will replace the existing urgent care centres at Washington, Bunny Hill, Houghton and Pallion. Other NHS services within these primary care centres are not affected.