The urgent care centre at Hexham General Hospital has been closed between 10pm and 8am since 18 July for the intended period of four week.  However, Hexham’s chief operating officer (COO) for surgery, clinical support, and child health, Marion Dickson, claimed that the staffing issues which caused the initial suspension are the reason why overnight services will remain inoperative.
Dickson said the decision was taken “purely on safety grounds,” and to ensure that patients get access to a reliable and safe service.  Centres for emergency care in Wansbeck and Hexham were closed overnight for 11 months from November 2016 due to soaring levels of demand throughout the day.
“I know this decision will disappoint many in the area, we are too, but it just wouldn’t be safe to reopen at this point and compromising on patient safety is something which we will never do,” concluded Dickson.
The trust noted that it is working closely with Northumberland CCG to discuss the long-term arrangements for the overnight service at the urgent care centre, and will report back to residents as soon as there is further news.  Read more.