Health and care services in Gateshead are continuing to face unprecedented pressures due to covid-19 cases, staff isolating and continuing high levels of emergency attendances. Patients are urged to attend the Urgent Treatment Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for any minor injuries or illnesses.
Andy Beeby, medical director for Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “Unfortunately, due to unprecedented levels of staff absences, we are closing the Blaydon Urgent Treatment Centre on Sunday this weekend and centralising our staff at the QE Hospital.”
“We appreciate that this may cause some inconvenience for those patients who use it, but we needed to make this change to make sure our services can run safely for the whole area.”
To help cope with these pressures and ensure the people who need care the most can get it the NHS is asking people to:
- Think NHS 111 online or pharmacy first before coming to A&E or calling 111 or 999.
- If you suspect you have Covid-19 stay at home and get a test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk. You cannot access testing through A&E or GP surgeries.
- Get your second vaccination as soon as you are eligible
- Understand that you may not be seen in the same way as before the pandemic. Virtual or telephone appointments are often more appropriate.
- If you are visiting any of our healthcare settings, please remember to wear a face covering, use our handwashing and alcohol gel facilities.
- Please attend appointments on your own, where possible, to limit the number of people on-site and reduce the risk of infection to other patients and NHS staff.
- Please keep your hospital, clinic or GP appointment. If you can’t make it, let us know so we can offer that appointment to others.
- Be kind – all our staff are doing their best to look after you, please be patient.