More overnight closures of the Penrith urgent treatment centre

Date: Thursday 12th September 2019

HEALTH bosses have announced further overnight closures of Penrith hospital's urgent treatment centre.

The facility will close overnight temporarily on Sunday the 15th and Monday 16th September.

A spokesman said: "This only affects walk in patients as medical assistance can still be accessed by calling 111 and speaking to a CHoC doctor who can arrange an appointment at the hospital, an ambulance or offer self-care advice. The centre will be closed between the hours of 9pm and 8am on these days."

Dr Craig Melrose, GP clinical lead Urgent and Primary Care interface at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: "Due to staffing shortages, we are not able to safely staff the unit for the night shift so we have had to make the decision to close the trust's walk in service during these hours.

"The urgent treatment centre sees very low numbers of people during the night and it important that we prioritise keeping the centre open during the day which is the busiest period.

"We are very grateful to the staff on the unit who are going above and beyond what is expected including working additional hours, however we recognise this is not sustainable and therefore made the difficult decision to close overnight this weekend.

"We have previously had to close the unit overnight recently and due to ongoing staffing issues, we are not able to rule out further temporary overnight closures.

"We are reviewing the situation on an ongoing basis and will keep the public updated on any further temporary change in opening hours. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause."

CHoC operate an appointment system only, and must be accessed via the 111 service.

"Please do not attend the Penrith Hospital without an appointment. The clinician covering may not be on site (they may be on a home visit) and there will be no medical cover on the site," the spokesman added.

Serious or life threatening conditions should be treated at A&E and by calling 999.