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Urgent care (walk in) centre moves to Darlington Memorial Hospital

Urgent care centre move

The Urgent Care (walk in) Centre, currently based at Doctor Piper House, King Street in Darlington town centre is moving to Darlington Memorial Hospital on Wednesday 14th December 2016 and will be located alongside the Emergency Department.

The urgent care centre will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and patients are urged to call NHS 111 if they have urgent care needs.

NHS 111 is a service for when you urgently need medical help, but it is not a life-threatening situation, and can signpost you to the right local NHS service. If your GP practice is closed and you need urgent healthcare, just call 111. For emergencies, major accidents or life-threatening situations, 999 is the number to call.

Andrea Jones, Chair, NHS Darlington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said, 'The co-location of the urgent care centre at Darlington Memorial Hospital is part of the CCGs vison for an integrated urgent care service.

Urgent care services are there to deal with problems requiring prompt medical attention but are not life threatening.

Moving the Urgent Care Centre to Darlington Memorial Hospital offering a 24 service has a number of benefits. It allows staff to assess patients and decide whether they need to be seen by urgent care or in A&E. Urgent care staff can arrange blood tests, X-rays and scans if necessary and seek specialist opinion.

A&Es are designed to deal with trauma, accidents and life threatening emergency but often treat patients who should be seen by their GP practice or by urgent care or pharmacy.

Rather than discourage people seeking medical help who turn up at A&E, we intend to increase the availability of routine services, so that patients receive the right care at the right time in the right place.

'For some time there has been a desire to move the service to Darlington Memorial Hospital, particularly due to the success of the out of hours service being moved.  Currently some patients will attend the A & E department in hours and once assessed they are referred to the Urgent Care Centre at Dr Piper House and vice versa.  This means that the patient is assessed twice and there is a delay as the patient travels between the two sites. 

A centralised service is easier for patients as they know the service is available 24/7 from the same site.  In addition the CCG and Trust are confident that the move will result in an improved patient experience by streamlining the patient journey.'

Carole Langrick, executive director of operations at County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said, "Co-locating two already successful services and having a single point of access to those services, means that, depending on their symptoms, our patients will be seen by the best person to care for them, whatever the time of day or night.  As health partners, we've been working on this for some time and are pleased it will be in place ahead of the coldest winter months which are always particularly busy."

13/12/16

 

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital