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Talk before you walk

Patients in the Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield area will have access to more GP appointments from 1st April 2017.

Following a public consultation last year, Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group (DDES CCG) has announced that in less than a month they will continue to deliver urgent care services across DDES within GP practices.

Patients will always be seen in a GP surgery or a surgery near them and will no longer visit a Walk In or Urgent Care Centre with an illness.

If patients are unwell during the day they will be able to ring up and book same day appointments with a health professional in their GP surgery or a surgery near to where they live. During the hours of 8am - 6pm, they will need to ring a GP surgery.

When GP surgeries are closed (between 6pm and 8am) Monday - Friday and at weekends, patients should ring NHS 111, where they will be seen based on their need and signposted to the most appropriate service. This could be a GP practice close to where they live, known as a Primary Care Service, or an Out Of Hours Service at Peterlee Community Hospital or Bishop Auckland Hospital.

An Out of Hours Service from 8pm - 8am Monday to Friday and on weekends will remain and be provided at Peterlee Community Hospital and Bishop Auckland Hospital.

Instead of the Walk In Centres or Urgent Care Centres there will be Minor Injury Units at Bishop Auckland Hospital and Peterlee Community Hospital, 24 hours a day 365 days a year. These Minor Injury Units will provide X-ray facilities 8am - 8pm daily and will treat for example, broken bones, strains and sprains, minor burns or scalds. Patients are being advised to call 111 to get an appointment to reduce their waiting times.

999 will still be used in a medical emergency when someone is seriously ill and their life is at risk.  There is no change to this service.

To summarise - "Talk before you walk"

• There will be no Walk In Centres

• Think GP surgery first through the day between 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday


• When your GP surgery is closed, ring NHS 111.   Staff will signpost you to    

   the most appropriate service

• An Out of Hours Service, from 6pm-8am, Monday-Friday and on weekends will remain and be provided at Peterlee Community Hospital or Bishop Auckland Hospital

• Minor Injury Units will be at Peterlee Community Hospital or Bishop Auckland Hospital and you should ring 111 to book an appointment

This month all patients will receive a pocket guide through the post that will outline the increased access and what to do if they are feeling unwell.  A communication campaign will be launched in the coming weeks on the radio and information will be available in GP surgeries and on social media.

Quote from Dr Stewart Findlay, "The changes will ensure that we can provide high quality prompt treatment or advice for the population of Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield closer to home. The pocket guide for all patients has been developed in partnership with our patient representatives to help everyone understand where to go if they are feeling unwell. "

Published 29 March 2017




'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their professionalism.'

Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital