Longer Hours For Walk-In
The Westgate Walk-In Centre has extended its opening hours and been re-branded as an ‘urgent treatment centre’.
Staffed by family doctors and nurses, it now stays open to 10pm and will see people of all ages with minor injuries and illnesses.
The move is part of a nationwide shake-up, which has also seen changes at the city’s Ponteland Road and Byker Molineux Street centres, designed to ensure patients have the same experience of urgent services wherever they are in the country. Previously, the National Health Service (NHS) offered a mix of walk-in centres, urgent care centres, minor injury units and urgent treatment centres, all with different levels of service.
According to the NHS, urgent treatment centres, open 14 hours a day, make it easier and more convenient for patients to access services seven days a week, including bank holidays.
Appointments can be booked through GP practices and may also be offered via NHS 111 if assessment of your symptoms suggests this is the best option for you, or people can just turn up and walk in without an appointment.
“We know that patients generally understand when something is serious enough to go to the emergency department or call 999, however when they have a less serious condition they are not aware of where they can access the care they need closer to home,” said Team lead Debbie Wilson.
“Urgent treatment centres are a facility you can go to if you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not a life-threatening situation. These changes will ensure urgent services are standardised making it much clearer for patients where to access our help.
“It is hoped this new standard will reduce any confusion around which part of the NHS offers which service, in turn reducing the number of people who attend emergency departments when they could be treated more appropriately, and faster, elsewhere.”
The Westgate Walk-In Centre is based at the General Hospital site on Westgate Road, opposite Grainger Park Road, NE4 6BE. It is open every day from 8am to 10pm.
People can use the Centre for the following:
- sprains and strains
- suspected broken limbs
- minor head injuries
- cuts and grazes
- bites and stings
- minor scalds and burns
- ear and throat infections
- skin infections and rashes
- eye problems
- coughs and colds
- feverish illness in adults
- feverish illness in children
- abdominal pain
- vomiting and diarrhoea
- emergency contraception
Source: The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust