Big changes for urgent care services.
Byline: Craig Thompson Health Reporter email@example.com
A MAJOR shake-up in the way NHS urgent care services are provided in North Tyneside is set to get under way.
Under new consultation proposals launched on Wednesday, one of the two urgent medical centres in the area could face closure.
Health leaders say no final decisions have been made and are now urging residents in the area to have their say on how the future of healthcare in North Tyneside is shaped.
There are currently two urgent care medical centres in the borough, one at Battle Hill in Wallsend, and another at North Tyneside General Hospital. However, under the new proposals, only one of those centres will remain open.
Health bosses say the changes are needed due to confusion in the area over where and when people can access non emergency, out-of-hospital treatment. This includes treatments for injuries, an illness or medical condition which needs advice from a GP, pharmacist, NHS 111, a walk-in centre or out-of-hours GP.
Dr Shaun Lackey, North Tyneside GP and Chair of the Urgent Care Working Group, said: "Hundreds of people have shared their views and made it clear that ease of access, in terms of location, times and days, is very important, as well as knowing that you will be seen by the right medical professional. We have studied people's feedback, and considered the best clinical evidence, and developed a number of possible scenarios for the future shape of our services.
"The next stage is to get people's views on the different scenarios through the consultation period. I would encourage everyone to have their say and help us to shape services for the future."
The range of scenarios set down in the proposal are: | A single North Tyneside |Urgent Care Centre based at North Tyneside General Hospital A single North Tyneside |Urgent Care Centre based at Battle Hill A single North Tyneside |Urgent Care Centre based at North Tyneside General Hospital supported by locally based minor ailments services in the other three areas - Killingworth, Wallsend, Whitley Bay A single North Tyneside |Urgent Care Centre based at Battle Hill supported by locally based minor ailments services in the other three areas - Killingworth, North Shields, Whitley Bay.
NHS bosses claim it is too premature to speculate on any job losses and said they were hoping the public would engage with consultation period which runs from now until January 21, 2016.
In a document entitled Urgent Care: Case for Change, the Clinical Commissioning Group say that financial pressures are playing a role in the need for change.