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Closure of Jarrow NHS Walk-in Centre based on "hard evidence", say health bosses

Health bosses on South Tyneside have said that a plan that involves closing the NHS Walk-in Centre in Jarrow will lead to more "clinically effective" care.

Under the plans, the Walk-in Centre would close in the autumn and be replaced by a new urgent care hub at South Tynesdie District Hospital.

Dr Matthew Walmsley, a local GP and the Chairman of the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said the decision was based on "hard evidence".

Rehena Azam, one of the organisers of today's 'People's March for the NHS', said it the "civic duty" of people to try and protect local NHS services.

"We understand people’s concern, but it’s important to be clear that our plans are based on hard evidence about the most clinically effective ways to provide health care.

"With the walk-in centre and A&E on the same site, patients will be guided to the best service for their needs, which will free up A&E staff to concentrate on genuine emergencies.

"We have been clear from the start that concerns around access to GPs, transport and raising awareness of advice available from places such as local pharmacists must be tackled before the move takes place in the autumn. So, for example, we have already commissioned a detailed independent piece of work to get the clearest possible picture about accessing GPs locally. This will be available shortly and will help us ensure the work we are already undertaking with local practices is on the right track."

– Dr Matthew Walmsley, South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group

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Tyne Tees Weather - Saturday

Waves blowing at at Blyth Credit: SUE RUTHERFORD

Starting mild but wet and windy, with gales in exposure as occasionally heavy rain sweeps eastwards. Gusts 50-60mph.

Remaining windy, but becoming brighter and fresher into the afternoon, with blustery showers possible (more likely in the west).

Away from the wind and showers, it will feel warm, with highs to 13°C.

Amble Harbour Village opens for business

Amble Harbour. Credit: Amble Harbour Village

The Amble Harbour Village opens for business today (Saturday, March 28).

A range of events have been organised to celebrate the occasion.

Newcastle University's research boat The Princess Royal will be part of a flotilla of action with the inshore lifeboat and a locally built skiff.

The coastline's wild past of Viking raids will be celebrated with a Viking camp in the town square.

The Seafood Centre is at the heart of the Harbour Village on a harbour front that is being redeveloped.

The Centre will showcase wide variety of seafood native to the coastline, with tips on how best to cook them.

The new Seafood Centre under construction. Credit: Amble Harbour Village
Fish are a major part of the Amble economy. Credit: Amble Harbour Village

The Harbour Village has been developed as part of a wider regeneration project for Amble.

A spokesman said:

"There is a destination plan in place for Amble with various development and initiatives that all work towards the vision for the town to be a vibrant, lively, welcoming town that is proud of its social, industrial and maritime history. The harbour area and marina are key to the visitor experience of Amble but the whole town will be recognised for its rich heritage, and visitors will enjoy seeing important parts of this history, such as the harbour and the fishing industry. Amble aims to attract a diverse range of national and international visitors including active holiday makers, birdwatchers, walkers, yachting people and families."

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Campaigners want to save Jarrow NHS Walk-in Centre

A protest rally is being held in Jarrow today to oppose the closure of the town's NHS Walk In Centre.

The South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group made the decision to open a new 'urgent care hub' at South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, and relocate services in Jarrow to the new centre.

At the time the Chair of the CCG and South Tyneside GP, Dr Matthew Walmsley, said:

“Many people continue to queue at A&E for minor ailments, rather than using the walk-in-centre service or their GP. By creating a ‘one stop shop’, with every service behind one front door, we can make sure that patients get the right urgent care, first time, every time.”

But the South Tyneside Public Services Alliance, a trade union-led organisation, is against the move.

They believe parking and travel for people in Hebburn and Jarrow is a big concern.

Two seriously injured after crash in Newton Aycliffe

Two men are seriously injured after a crash involving a car and a taxi on the A167 in Newton Aycliffe.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said the two men, who were travelling in the same vehicle, both had to be cut from the wreckage by firefighters.

One has been airlifted to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, while the other has been taken by road to Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Nothing is known yet about the driver of the other car.

The road is closed both ways, with police directing traffic, between the B6443 at Central Avenue and Ricknall Lane. The crash happened about 500 yards north of the Gretna Green Hotel.

A spokesman for the fire service confirmed the crash involved two cars, after reports that one of the vehicles was a lorry. He said a lorry was at the scene but was not involved in the crash.

Puffins are main attraction as Farne Islands re-open

Farne puffins. Credit: National Trust

The Farne Islands, off the Northumberland coast, will open to visitors today, offering the opportunity to see Puffins.

Warm spring temperatures have seen Puffins returning to their breeding grounds on the Farne Islands early for the second year running.

It is thought that the milder weather that we've been experiencing recently could well be a contributing factor.

For the past two years the milder weather has brought Puffins back to their breeding grounds earlier than expected. If the mild weather continues it could very well indicate the start of a successful breeding season. The Farne Islands are home to around 40,000 pairs of puffins during spring and summer."

– Becky Hetherington, Head Ranger for the Northumberland Coast
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