An NHS walk-in centre in Newcastle shut because of staffing shortages may never reopen.
The Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) on Westgate Road was temporarily closed in November as NHS chiefs said there was not enough GPs or nurses to keep it running.
It has now been decided the walk-in is to remain shut until at least the end of September, as there are no signs of the staffing shortages being solved.
Liberal Democrat Wendy Taylor told a health scrutiny committee on Thursday 18 May it seemed “very unlikely” the site, which is based at the old Newcastle General Hospital, could ever reopen, questioning the health facility's long-term feasibility.
Joe Corrigan, of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board said "workforce challenges had been going on for three years" and that he did not know when that would change.
Before the site closed in the autumn, the number of GP shifts being covered has been as low at 63%.
It was hoped that by closing the Westgate Road walk-in, a more reliable service would be provided at Newcastle's other facilities in Cowgate and Byker.
Mr Corrigan, however, said there had only been a “marginal” improvement to GP staffing levels at these locations since the decision was made.
It is estimated that around six people per-day who would have gone to the Westgate Road centre now do not get medical treatment.
The rest are believed by NHS bosses to go to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), or the walk-in UTC at Byker and Cowgate.
There are early-stage plans to reform the health services available in the area.
Bas Sen, associate medical director at the RVI, spoke of future hopes for walk-in centre's to be located next door to emergency departments, meaning services were easier to access for patients unsure which service to attend.
He said: “What we have is a system that is creaking and a system that is unable to recover unless we change.”
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