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Awareness campaign launches on new model of emergency care

Monday, 02 March, 2015
Awareness campaign launches on new model of emergency care

With less than four months to go until the opening of the first purpose-built dedicated emergency care hospital in England, health leaders in Northumberland and North Tyneside will this week begin a widespread public awareness campaign in the run up to the new Northumbria hospital opening.

A new microsite – – has today been launched which includes lots of detailed information about the new model of emergency care being introduced by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust from June   2015.

The campaign aims to ensure that people living and working across Northumberland and North Tyneside have all the information they need about the emergency care changes coming in June and that they understand how to access services – whether they simply need urgent care or advice, or whether they are seriously ill or injured with a life threatening emergency.

The new microsite will include examples of the less serious conditions which will continue to be treated at 24 hour walk-in services at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals.  It also explains the serious emergencies that will be treated at the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital once it opens in June.

The campaign will initially include radio and outdoor advertising, social media marketing using the hashtag #NewEra, on street engagement activity, as well as continued drop-in sessions run by the Trust.  Further detailed information will be distributed to every household in the coming months.

Ian Joy, matron for emergency care who features as part of the campaign, said: “It is really important that people understand the changes that will take place in June and know how to access help in an urgent or an emergency situation.

“Our 24 hour walk-in services in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck will continue to treat many thousands of less serious conditions, just as they do now, once the new hospital opens.  Our aim is to make sure people know when to access help locally, but equally, if it is a very serious or life threatening emergency when they should go straight to the new Northumbria hospital in Cramlington.

“We will continue to share lots of information as part of the public awareness campaign as we get nearer to the new hospital opening and also give lots of opportunities for people to ask any questions they may have about the new model of care.”

The Trust has already held public drop-in sessions during February at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals to give people the chance to find out about the new model of emergency care.  These will continue into March with staff on hand in the main entrances of community hospitals as follows:

–       Blyth Community Hospital – Thursday 5 March (12 noon until 2pm)

–       Berwick Infirmary – Tuesday 10 March (12 noon until 2pm)

–       Alnwick Infirmary – Friday 13 March (12.30pm until 2.30pm)

The new Northumbria hospital is the result of ten years’ work led by clinical teams at Northumbria Healthcare and will have emergency care consultants physically on site 24/7, as well as specialists in a range of conditions also available seven days a week.  This means patients from across Northumberland and North Tyneside will get to see the right specialist for their condition quickly which will not only save more lives but is widely proven to improve clinical outcomes.

People with less serious conditions, but who still require urgent care, will continue to receive treatment at 24 hour walk-in services at the trust’s general hospitals in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck.  These walk-in patients are expected to be seen more quickly in the future as staff will not be distracted or called away to treat more serious cases.

The new model of emergency care is in line with the vision recently outlined in the ‘NHS five year forward view’ and has been endorsed by Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS in England, who, as part of his Urgent and Emergency Care Review, is calling for ‘patients to receive the right treatment at the right place’, with consistent levels of senior staffing in order to maximise chances of survival and a good recovery for patients.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust also continues to back the region’s ‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ campaign which aims to remind people that many common winter ailments and illnesses can be easily treated at home, or with advice from a pharmacist – with no need to see a doctor or nurse or burden busy NHS emergency services.

Colds, sore throats, headaches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting illness are all best treated at home or with the advice of a local pharmacist, with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids.  This not only helps to reduce the spread of viruses in NHS waiting rooms – it also means urgent and emergency care services are kept free for those who need them most.