Improving the way you access services
An improved system where you can contact NHS 111 and be assessed over the phone, which can:
- Give advice on how to look after yourself (if required from a nurse, GP, consultant or other healthcare professional)
- Send an electronic prescription to your nearest pharmacy (if required)
- Book an appointment into the best service for your health issues if you need to have a face-to-face appointment
If you have a long-term condition or you still want to contact your GP practice directly, then you still will be able to.
Changing the way you get urgent GP appointments
Groups of GP practices are working together to offer urgent appointments on evenings and weekends. People will be assessed by their practice or 111 to decide if they need to be seen at their own practice for continuity of care or if they can be seen at the Sunderland Extended Access Service.
Changing where people would go for minor illnesses and injuries
The urgent care centres (walk-in centres) at Bunny Hill Primary Care Centre, Houghton Primary Care Centre and Washington Primary Care Centre will be replaced with better access to GP practices.
There will also be an urgent treatment centre located at Pallion Health Centre. This means:
- The service would offer booked appointments as well as walk-in appointments
- It would be easier for people to know where to go rather than the current four urgent care centres
- It will deal with minor injuries with access to x-ray facilities as well as minor illness
- With the service being next to the hospital, it means that if you need more serious treatment then you will be transferred to the hospital
- Equally if you go to the hospital (emergency department) and, following an assessment, you need urgent but not emergency care then you can be transferred to the urgent treatment centre. This will free up more capacity for life threatening cases at the emergency department
Using money more wisely
By investing money in a different way, we can provide NHS services that make it easier for people to get the right treatment in the right place. There will also be more appointments available in GP practices because of the improvements that we are planning on making (improved 111 service, changes to the home visiting services, evening and weekend appointments available in the Sunderland Extended Access Service). This is aimed at freeing up GP practice time for those who need to be seen urgently. Delivering care in a better way means that we can use the money that we have more wisely.