People with minor injuries and illnesses will soon benefit from a jointly run NHS urgent care service across the Tees Valley.
It will include centres in Stockton, Hartlepool, Redcar and Middlesbrough, offering treatment to people for a range of health issues.
The service will be run by an alliance of four health organisations including:
- North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
- South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- The North East Ambulance Service
- Hartlepool and Stockton Health GP Federation
It follows a formal procurement exercise run by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB).
Kevin Moore, clinical director for emergency care at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This new alliance will bring together expertise and resources from across the region so that patients can have the highest standard of care.
“Urgent care services across the area are helping ensure people get the right help at the right time for a whole range of minor injuries and illnesses.
“We know our patients want as smooth a journey as possible when receiving treatment and urgent care services help ensure this is the case.”
Together the partnership will oversee services, including urgent care centres at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees and the urgent treatment centre at Redcar Primary Care Hospital.
The new UTC is part of a £9million investment in urgent care services on Teesside that will integrate services, provide care closer to home and ease emergency department pressures.
All four centres will all treat a wide range of minor illnesses and injuries including:
- sprains and strains
- cuts and grazes
- suspected broken limbs
- ear and throat infections
Andy Hebron, clinical director for emergency care at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Having an urgent treatment centre on site at James Cook will help ensure more patients from the Middlesbrough and surrounding area are treated in the right place.
“Patients should continue to contact their GP or 111 for their non-urgent health issues, but if they have a minor illness or injury that needs attention, our urgent care and treatment centres across the region are available to help which can only be good news for everyone.
“The centres will also help keep our emergency care departments free for what they are there for – emergencies.”
Stephen Segasby, chief operating officer at North East Ambulance Service, said: “The ambulance service is now so much more than just a transportation service, and our advanced practitioner team already have a proven track record of delivering out of hours care alongside our colleagues in North Tees.
“As the healthcare needs of our region change, we’re keen to develop our paramedic workforce to meet those needs. This service provides a fantastic development opportunity for them to gain urgent and primary care experience whilst remaining employed by us.”
Lucy Falcus, medical director at Hartlepool and Stockton Health, added: “In the future urgent care services will be easier for patients to navigate, as the care provided will be the same whether you live in the North or South Tees area.
“We are excited to be involved in keeping this service local to patients and staffed by local doctors and nurses.”
Craig Blair, local director for the North East and North Cumbria ICB said: “This is great news for patients. The new service will mean a consistent approach to urgent care across Teesside, with urgent treatment centres already in place at hospitals in Hartlepool, Stockton and Redcar.
"The centres will provide care closer to home and ensure our busy emergency departments can focus on the most poorly patients and emergencies."