Temporary overnight change at local urgent care centre announced – Wansbeck General Hospital
Due to winter pressures on the Emergency Department (ED) at The Northumbria (Cramlington) staff will temporarily be reallocated between 22:00 and 08:00 from Friday 2nd March.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has today announced the temporary decision to suspend Wansbeck urgent care centre between the hours of 22:00 and 08:00 in response to unprecedented winter pressures.
The measure – part of winter resilience planning across the Emergency Care Services – will release an additional 56 hours of nursing time for the ED every week. Some of the nursing team already rotate to The Northumbria as part of their on-going training and education so will be able to make a positive impact immediately.
Since emergency care was transformed in 2015 overnight activity at Wansbeck urgent care centre has been minimal. On an ‘average’ night there are fewer than four attendances between 22:00 and 08:00. In light of these extremely low numbers, the trust is working with its urgent care nursing staff to ensure their skills can be put to best use to meet demand across the trust.
“It’s not a decision we take lightly,” said Dr Jeremy Rushmer, executive medical director at the trust “But the sheer number of people attending the ED – including many elderly and/ or frail patients who are complex to assess and are in need of significant support to resolve their problems – means that we have to activate contingency plans in order to cope.
“As members of the public may be aware we broke records in terms of the number of people attending more than once last week and there are no signs of pressure letting up, once the cold snap is over. The additional staff will play a vital role in ensuring we continue to have the right skills, in the right place, at the right time; so we can continue to provide the very best care for those most in need.”
While this temporary measure is in effect any members of the public who are not in immediate need of critical or life-saving care should contact NHS 111 to seek advice 24 hours a day. Northern Doctors Urgent Care – contactable via 111 – will continue to use the centre as one of their (3) bases should an urgent GP appointment be needed overnight.
Elliot Nichols – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
0191 203 1512 / 07966490736