What is urgent care

Urgent care means ‘when you suddenly become unwell and need to see a healthcare professional the same day but is not an emergency’. This includes urgent
care for both mental and physical health.

In Sunderland, this includes:

NHS 111 – The number to dial for nonlife threatening medical concerns. It is a national telephone number, where healthcare professionals are available to provide telephonebased clinical advice, access to out-of-hours doctors and wider medical services when they are needed.

There will be an improved service in place from October 2018. More healthcare professionals will now be available to give advice to patients. This means that more people can call to get health advice without the need to travel to an appointment. This will be known as the ‘Integrated Urgent Care Service’.

Pharmacies – They offer advice for minor illnesses and injuries as well as advice on the safe use of medicines. Lots of pharmacies are open late and at weekends. There are 63 pharmacies in the Sunderland area, so it is never far to travel to one. Pharmacists are experts in the use of medicine and able to diagnose and treat many common illnesses.

GP services during normal working hours – The GP is where most people go when they have a health problem. In Sunderland there are 40 GP practices, mostly open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6.00pm.

GP services during evenings and weekends – Since 1 September 2017, GP appointments have been available weekday evenings from 6.00pm to 8.30pm, and on weekends and bank holidays. GP practices have come together to offer these appointments and the service is available in up to five locations to all patients in the city. Appointments are made via your own practice
and NHS 111.

GP services out of normal working hours – The GP out-of-hours service aims to provide accessible urgent care when GP practices are closed. Depending on the severity of the healthcare issue, patients may be offered telephone advice, an appointment or a home visit.

Urgent Care Centres – At Sunderland’s four urgent care centres (sometimes known as walk-in centres), GPs and nurses see patients who have a health issue which is not life threatening but needs to be seen that day. They are open Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm and from 8am to 10pm, Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays.