A major review of NHS urgent care services in North Tyneside has moved to its next stage with the publication of detailed analysis of the feedback and comments received during the three-month public consultation period.
The consultation, which was led by NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), asked people to consider a range of different ways in which urgent care services could be arranged in the future.
The CCG and its partners put forward four alternative scenarios for the future shape of urgent care services in North Tyneside, with patients also invited to comment on any other options they thought might be appropriate. The four options were these:
- 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)
Members of the public were also invited to comment on any other options they thought may be appropriate.
Dr Shaun Lackey, a local GP and Chair of the Urgent Care Working Group, said: “Over 700 people took the time to share their views using several different methods, ranging from roadshow and drop-in events to survey forms and social media, and their comments are a vital part of this process.
“All this information has been analysed by an independent organisation and is now available on our website. The next stage is a month-long period of intelligent consideration, which is a chance for local people and organisations to comment on the findings and the proposed next steps.
“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. The next stage is for us to consider the findings alongside other clinical, financial and legal evidence before a decision is made by the CCG Executive and considered by the Governing Body in July.”
The consultation took place because the CCG cannot afford to run urgent care services in their current form, with a multiple services providing similar care in locations at Battle Hill, North Tyneside General Hospital, and Shiremoor Paediatric Minor Injuries Unit as well as GP out of hours services.
The CCG will outline the findings at a public event at the Linskill Centre, North Shields, at 6pm on Wednesday 11 May. Everyone who has taken part in the process has been invited, with all local people welcome to attend.
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 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.
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. The final decision is set to be made by the CCG’s Governing Body in July, with the changes coming into place next year.
Dr Lackey added: “We are constantly working to improve local healthcare services within the resources we have available, and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed as their comments will help us identify the best options for the future.”
The review got underway early last year, with hundreds of local people sharing their views on existing services and highlighting their key concerns like easy access to services, opening hours and being seen by the right medical professional first time. The CCG then invited people to consider a range of possible scenarios for the shape of services in the future.
The findings will be outlined at a public event at the Linskill Centre, Linskill Terrace, North Shields NE30 2AY, at 6pm on Wednesday 11 May, and can be viewed at www.northtynesideccg.nhs.uk from 9 May.