Tyne & Wear

Hexham urgent care unit faces further night closure

Hexham General Hospital
Image caption The unit will continue to operate a walk-in service between 08:00 and 22:00 GMT

An urgent care unit is to close overnight, less than three weeks after returning to 24-hour opening.

Hexham General Hospital will be shutting the centre from 22:00 to 08:00 GMT due to "severe staffing pressures".

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said the decision had been made "as a last resort and following repeated efforts to keep it open".

The suspension of the overnight service - which is until further notice - follows a closure from July to October.

People needing medical advice or care overnight are asked to contact NHS 111, which will refer them to the most appropriate service.

'Disappointed and angry'

Marion Dickson, from the trust, said: "We have done everything we can to run a safe and consistent urgent care service at Hexham overnight.

"Time and time again our staff have gone above and beyond to help us do this, and overcome the severe staffing pressures we face, and we would like to thank them all for their efforts.

"Despite our best efforts, it has now come to the stage where we have exhausted all possibilities and must, reluctantly, make this difficult decision.

"We fully understand that the local community will be disappointed - even angry. However, we must not, and will not, compromise on patient safety."

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