As a listening organisation, we know that patients living in Washington and Houghton have been concerned to ensure that NHS urgent care services are accessible locally, and not just in more central areas of Sunderland.
That’s why we have set up this page, to ensure that everyone knows how to use urgent care services when you need them. Urgent care is for minor injuries or illnesses which need medical attention the same day, but are not serious enough for the Emergency Department.
From 1 August 2019, the best way to access NHS urgent care services in Houghton or Washington will be to contact your GP practice or pharmacy, or call NHS 111 when they are closed.
These will be the main options for urgent care in Houghton and Washington:
Looking after yourself
Remember, many minor illnesses can be treated at home with advice from your local pharmacist or a well-stocked first aid kit. Find out more here.
Your local pharmacist is highly trained and provides free, confidential advice on minor illnesses from sickness and diarrhoea to hay fever.
GP practices – including extra evening and weekend appointments
Your GP practice is the first place for most healthcare needs. In many practices you can consult the team in person, online, by phone or video.
Our GP practices now collectively offer evening, weekend and bank holiday appointments at Washington, Houghton, Southwick, Pallion and Riverview Health Centre. This is called the Sunderland Extended Access Service. The extended access services in Washington and Houghton Primary Care Centres will include minor injuries (by appointment).
Appointments are booked through your own practice. If you can’t contact your practice, you can call NHS 111 where advisors will help you get the care you need. This could include making an Extended Access appointment if that is the best option for you.
Appointments are offered Monday-Friday 6pm-8.30pm; weekends 9am-5.30pm; bank holidays 10am-2pm.
Urgent care services
Urgent care services at Pallion and Bunny Hill health centres are open 10am-10pm Monday to Friday; 8am-10pm weekends and bank holidays, no appointment needed.
The current urgent care services at Houghton and Washington health centres will cease on 31 July 2019. The other NHS services based at these centres are not affected.
The urgent care centre at Pallion will be upgraded to become an Urgent Treatment Centre in December. We have therefore arranged for the urgent care service at Bunny Hill to stay open until then, to provide an extra option for patients.
If you have an urgent need which is not life-threatening, NHS 111 health advisors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you get the right medical attention for your needs.
Please keep 999 and the Emergency Department (A&E) at Sunderland Royal Hospital for serious or life-threatening illness or injuries only. If your health need is not an emergency, you may be referred to a different service on arrival.