Reassurances sought over NHS decision

North Tyneside General Hospital at North Shields.
North Tyneside General Hospital at North Shields.

A local MP has sought reassurances over plans to temporarily close urgent-care services overnight during the winter.

Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell met Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust chief executive David Evans to talk about the recent decision to change the opening hours of the urgent-care centre at North Tyneside General Hospital.

The Trust made the decision to close the centre between midnight and 8am to redeploy staff to the emergency-care hospital at Cramlington.

After the meeting, Mr Campbell said: “The announcement did cause some concern and I am grateful for a helpful meeting with the Trust.

“Mr Evans was very clear that this is temporary.

“The staff rotas have been adjusted for the next few months and the Trust plans to review this in March when the height of winter pressures is hopefully over.”

During the meeting, Mr Campbell also quizzed Mr Evans about the future of urgent-care services following the public consultation led by NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group.

Mr Campbell said: “The outcome of the public consultation on the future of urgent-care services in North Tyneside was very clear. People want this 24-hour service to be based at Rake Lane and I share that view.

“It will make the system much simpler for the public to understand in future and help secure the service at Rake Lane.

“Clearly a lot of work has gone on by the Trust to make sure there are strong links in place between staff at North Tyneside urgent-care centre and the specialist teams at the Northumbria Hospital in Cramlington.”

“I am assured these arrangements are working well and they must continue in the future when the new service comes in next year.

“It is clearly going to be a very busy time for all of our NHS services and I wish all NHS staff the very best during the winter months ahead.”