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."
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.
A man has been arrested in connection with a report that a 28-year-old woman had been raped in a rear lane in Station Street, Jarrow at around 8pm on Saturday, February 14.
The 53-year-old man has now been bailed pending further enquiries.
Detectives are appealing for anyone who was in Station Street, particularly in the area near to New Palmer Hospital, on Saturday evening or has any information that could help with the investigation to contact them on 101.
The families of three men who died whilst kayaking on the River Tyne are calling for warning signs to be placed on a section of the River in Northumberland.
A coroner has recorded verdicts of accidental death for the three men - Brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe, from South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, from Jarrow, died last May.
Kenny Toal was at today's inquest:
The family of three men who died while out kayaking have paid tribute to them. Brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe, from South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, from Jarrow, died in May. At the inquest into their deaths coroner recorded a verdict of accidental deaths.
"I would like to thank everyone that was involved in the search for Darren, Mark and Gavin, and for the great efforts that were made to find them.
"Since this tragic accident occurred, our lives have been turned completely upside down. A part of us died that day, alongside our amazing husbands. We will never recover, or be the same again.
"Our lads would never have knowingly put themselves in danger. They were decent, hardworking, family men, just wanting to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the countryside, on a much deserved day off work. They were always sensible and had necessary equipment.
"We really hope that changes can be put in place to prevent such future tragedies happening again, and to save other families from the heartache we are suffering.
"Four lives have been taken in the space of three years, on that same stretch of river."
An inquest resumed into the death of three men who died while kayaking on the River Tyne in Northumberland. Brothers Darren and Mark Thorpe, from South Shields, and their cousin Gavin Bradley, from Jarrow, died in May.
The coroner recorded the verdict of accidental death in all three cases. The river levels at the time were higher than the men had experienced previously. The coroner added that the men did not show any signs of bravado and that the men took their safety seriously.
Thirty tonnes of water passes over the weir at Riding Mill every second an expert said it was impossible to get out of this.
A woman was treated in hospital for a suspected broken nose after she was threatened with a brick, punched and robbed as she walked through Jarrow.
The woman and a man were walking through an underpass by the Crown and Anchor pub, when a man threatened them with a masonry brick and demanded money.
He pulled a handbag from the woman's shoulder, containing her mobile phone, bus pass and glasses, and then ran off, before returning to punch her in the face with his fist.
The attacker is described as white, in his twenties and slim, wearing a dark jacket with a hood. Police want to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time of the attack, which happened at about 12:20pm on Saturday, 20th June.
World Cup fever has already arrived at one North East pub.
The Robin Hood, in Jarrow, South Tyneside, has been decorated with hundreds of flags, including the flags of all 32 countries taking part in this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
The pub landlord, Norman Scott, said the venture has taken considerable time and money. He said: "It's taken about a month putting them all over the roof, in the new World Cup area [beer garden] and out on the front. It's been fun."
Norman plans to take the flags down during the course of the tournament as and when countries are eliminated.
The re-opening date for the Tyne pedestrian and cyclist tunnels has been confirmed as June 2015.
The Grade-II listed tunnels, which run between Howdon and Jarrow, have been under refurbishment.
But asbestos and corrosion problems have delayed the project.
Joanna Adams, who's organising a march from Jarrow to London in protest at how the NHS is run, says she felt it was time to act. The three week march, inspired by the Jarrow jobs crusade of the 1930s, is set to begin in August.