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Hexham General Hospital unit to stay closed overnight

The unit's overnight closure will continue. Credit: PA Images

Hexham General Hospital’s urgent care centre is to remain closed overnight for what has been described as an "indeterminate period".

It has been shut between 10pm and 8am since July 18. This was for an initial four weeks but has not been extended.

Marion Dickson, chief operating officer for surgery, clinical support and child health, said:

We deeply regret that the staffing issues which caused the initial suspension have proven hard to resolve sustainably despite making every possible effort. As such, we have – with great reluctance – taken the decision to extend the temporary closure of overnight services at the Hexham urgent care centre,

The decision – taken purely on safety grounds – is being made to ensure patients get access to a reliable and safe service.

I know this decision will disappoint many in the area, we are too, but it just wouldn’t be safe to reopen at this point and compromising on patient safety is something which we will never do.

– Marion Dickson, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

A trust spokeswoman added that it is working with Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group to discuss long-term arrangements for the overnight service at the urgent care centre and will report back to residents as soon as there is further news.

Anyone needing urgent care overnight can call NHS 111 or – in an emergency – 999.