NHS leaders in Sunderland have made a decision on the future of urgent care

Tue 29th January 2019


The Sunderland urgent care consultation concluded today with the decision to have an urgent treatment centre located at Pallion Health Centre with five Sunderland Extended Access services located throughout the city.

Changes were made to the clinical model following concerns voiced by members of the public, meaning minor injuries services will also be available at the Sunderland Extended Access services at Houghton Primary Care Centre and Washington Primary Care Centre as well as at the urgent treatment centre in Pallion.

NHS Sunderland CCG, the body responsible for the commissioning of local health services, has decided the future of urgent care services following a 16-week consultation period in which people were invited to consider a range of different ways in which urgent care services could be arranged in the future.

At their governing body meeting held on Tuesday 29 January at Bede Tower in Sunderland, they came to a decision based on their review and consideration of all the clinical evidence and feedback from a process of public consultation.

The clinical commissioning group decided that from April 2019 patients only need to call their own GP practice or 111 to access urgent healthcare. Services that will be available include:

  • An integrated urgent care service (111) which has been available from October 2018.
  • A Recovery at Home service which supports vulnerable patients with complex needs to remain at home. This team (which includes a GP) responds quickly to provide intensive support to those 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.
  • There will be 45,000 GP appointments per year (including an additional 14,000 from April 2019) through the Sunderland Extended Access Service. You will need to book an appointment through your GP practice and this service is available from 6pm-8.30pm, Monday to Friday, 9am-5.30pm weekends and 10am-2pm on bank holidays. From April 2019 this will be at five locations in Sunderland (Pallion Health Centre, Bunny Hill Primary Care Centre, Houghton Primary Care Centre, Riverview Health Centre, Washington Primary Care Centre).
  • Minor injury services can be accessed at the urgent treatment centre at Pallion Health Centre (open 10am to 10pm, Monday to Friday and 8am-10pm weekends and bank holidays) and via appointment and via appointment at the Sunderland Extended Access Service in Houghton Primary Care Centre and Washington Primary Care Centre.


Dr Ian Pattison, chair for NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We have been very clear from the start that the current services cannot continue the way they are. Our role in the NHS is to ensure that we are providing the best possible healthcare with the resources that we have.

“In making our decision we have taken into consideration the feedback from members of the public. We have made changes to our clinical model as a direct result by providing more access to minor injuries services in Washington and Coalfields areas. We will be using the primary care centre buildings in Sunderland for the Sunderland Extended Access service, which replaces the walk-in services that are currently there.

“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to get involved. The feedback people provided really did influence our decision. By reviewing all the evidence that has been collected, we firmly believe that we have made the right decision for the future of urgent care services for the people of Sunderland.”

The changes are expected to take place from April 2019 and any changes will only take place when robust plans are in place to ensure that patient care is not affected

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