Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) have both received a number of queries from our patient population regarding the secondary care out of hours service delivered from the Richardson Hospital.
The service delivered from the Richardson Hospital building which is being mistaken for a secondary care out of hours service, is an extended access to primary care service offering additional hours where a patient with a same-day health needs to be seen by a health care professional.
The service is not a walk in service, it operates on appointments only which can be booked by NHS111 and GP practices. It currently operates 6pm – 8pm (2 hours) Monday to Friday and 8am – 1pm (5 hours) weekends.
The service is one of the nine CCG primary care hubs which are all GP services not hospital out of hour’s services. A hub is a group of neighbouring GP practices working together to provide extra appointments for patients with a same-day need.
We believe the confusion has arisen because the hub service delivered from the Richardson Hospital building should have been delivered from the Barnard Castle GP practice. However due to last minute unforeseen circumstances the GP practice were unable to deliver the service from their premises.
The CCG and CDDFT would like patients to always think GP practice first if you feel unwell. GP practices are open 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday. If you need to be seen that day you’ll be offered an appointment either at your own GP practice or a hub. If your GP practice is closed and you have a same day health need which is not a life-threatening emergency, call NHS111 to be directed to the most appropriate care.