Have your say about adult walk-in services at Shiremoor
Local people throughout North Tyneside are being invited to give their views on the future of adult walk-in services at Shiremoor Health Resource Centre.
The adult walk-in service at Shiremoor opened in 2005 and is staffed by specialist emergency care nurse practitioners. It was originally intended to help reduce the number of patients going A&E with illnesses and minor injuries that could be treated by highly skilled nurses in the local community and closer to patients own homes.
However, new detailed information has shown that the majority of adult patients using the walk-in centre have health conditions which don’t need hospital treatment at all and can be much better looked after by their own GP.
As a result, local healthcare commissioners in North Tyneside, who are responsible for planning healthcare and health services, would now like to make some changes to the adult walk-in service.
These changes would see the current staff of emergency care nurse practitioners join a specialist Admission Avoidance Resource Team (AART), also based at Shiremoor Health Resource Centre.
The proposal is that they would work specifically with older and more vulnerable people to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and provide more support to people at home.
A consultation on the proposed change is being held by NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), working in conjunction with NHS North of Tyne, and will run from Wednesday 5 December, 2012 until Wednesday, 15 March 2013.
Members of the public are encouraged to give their views on the proposals which can be read in detail in a consultation document available on the CCG’s and NHS North of Tyne’s websites.
The CCG is working with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and North Tyneside Council to develop better services for older and vulnerable people.
Dr John Matthews, clinical chair (designate) of NHS North Tyneside CCG, said the aim of the service is to prevent hospital admissions, where possible, by providing more support for people at home and for those waiting to be discharged from hospital.
He added: “We would like to transfer the emergency care nurse practitioners from the adult walk-in service to work on a special team that will provide support for older and vulnerable people across the borough.
“We know this will mean there will be no walk-in services at the Shiremoor Centre but by transferring these highly skilled staff to a dedicated team we will be able to provide more support to older and vulnerable people living across the borough.
“We believe that that the patients currently using the adult walk-in service at the centre on Earsdon Road could be seen at their own GP practice, go to the walk-in centre at Battle Hill, or if appropriate go to their A&E department. For minor illnesses they could also go to their local pharmacy.
“However, we want to know people’s views on this which is why we are consulting on the proposal.”
Dr Richard Curless of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the organisation which provides the specialist nursing team in Shiremoor, said: “Our emergency nurse practitioners are very highly skilled and the whole purpose of their role is to help diagnose acute medical conditions and triage the clinical needs of patients who need immediate help but not necessarily a hospital stay.
“At the moment, this specialist emergency care nursing team at Shiremoor is not being used to its maximum potential with many of the patients attending for ongoing ailments which would be better managed by their GP.
“By moving these specialist nurses to a more focused role working with older and more vulnerable patients, we can provide more support on evenings and at weekends which is the prime time when unnecessary hospital admissions at A&E occur.”
If the emergency care nurse practitioners do transfer to the team which is providing support for older and vulnerable people, the team will be able to extend the hours that it is available, providing more cover during evenings and weekends.
There are no plans to change the walk-in services for children at Shiremoor.
The CCG is working towards becoming authorised as it prepares to take on new statutory duties for the planning and purchasing of healthcare and health services for the people of the borough. NHS North Tyneside CCG is working closely with NHS North of Tyne, the current commissioners of NHS services in the county, to start taking on new responsibilities from April 2013.
Read the full consultation document here.
How to give your views
Members of the public are encouraged to give their views on the proposals and there are a number of ways they can do this:
Attend a public meeting
Two meetings will take place at:
Allotment Social Club and Institute,
Monday 21 January 2013, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Monday 18 February 2013, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Complete a confidential questionnaire
You can do this either by filling it out on-line or a paper version.
You can request a paper questionnaire either by email:
Or by telephone on: 0191 217 2599
You can also write to us with your comments on the following address:
Freepost Plus RRYY-HGHX-TESR
NHS North of Tyne
1 Esh Plaza
Sir Bobby Robson Way
Newcastle Upon Tyne