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Modernising health services in North West Durham

The NHS is launching an engagement exercise to hear the views of local people on what services could be provided from a brand new health facility in the North West Durham area - and we want to hear your views!

NHS North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation responsible for planning and buying the majority of health services in the area is keen that public feedback helps to influence how services are provided in the future.

Come along to one of our events and find out more:

Engagement events




Online registration

Wednesday 10th April

6 - 8pm

Consett Football Club, DH8 7BF

Thursday 11th April

12 - 2pm

St Cuthbert's Church Hall, DH8 0NW

Thursday 25th April

11.30am - 1.30pm

Blackhall Mill Community Centre, NE17 7TL

Tuesday 30th April

1 - 3pm

Lanchester Community Centre, DH7 0NY

Wednesday 8th May

1 - 3pm

Burnopfield Community Centre, NE16 7JF

Thursday 16th May

1 - 3pm

Louisa Centre, DH9 0TE


The CCG will be undertaking an eight week engagement period from Wednesday 27 March until Wednesday 22 May 2019 and is asking for feedback on a number of issues. The engagement programme will mainly focus on services currently provided at Shotley Bridge Community Hospital, which includes:

  • Outpatients - clinical appointments when you don't need to stay in hospital overnight;
  • Urgent care - when your GP practice is closed and you need medical attention but it's not an emergency;
  • Chemotherapy - a cancer treatment using medicine to kill cancer cells
  • Rehabilitation beds; where you can be supported to restore mobility to enable you to live as active life as possible
  • Diagnostics - x-rays or ultrasound scans;
  • Theatre - where you would have operations 
  • Endoscopy - procedures that can examine the inside of your body using an instrument called an endoscope.

There is, however, a commitment from North Durham CCG to re-provide the majority of services from a new purpose built facility in North West Durham with funding that has been specifically earmarked for this purpose. The CCG is keen to hear the views of local people about what is important to them as we develop plans for the new facility and how this would work alongside services in GP practices or those in the community. 

The CCG's preference is for outpatients, chemotherapy and diagnostic services to continue to be provided from the new facility, with endoscopy and theatre services moving to an acute hospital, such as the University Hospital of North Durham.

For urgent care, the service patients access when their GP surgery is closed and their condition requires prompt attention but is not an emergency, the CCG is proposing that this continues as a 24-hour GP and nurse practitioner service, or moves to 8am to midnight with home visits only from midnight to 8am.

There are also a number of different ideas for inpatient beds that the CCG is keen to explore.

Dr Ian Davidson, a GP in Lanchester and clinical lead for the CCG said:  "We are really keen in this initial engagement phase to talk to people about our vision for the future of health services in North West Durham and while we have talked at this early stage about our preferences I must stress that no decisions have been taken about what those services will look like yet.

"That's why it's really important that local people have their say on what is important to them, how they access services now and are likely to in the future and all the other crucial issues such as travel and transport that will help us build a very real picture of what people will need in the future so we can design services for them that are sustainable in the long term.

"This is just the beginning of a number of conversations that we are planning to have with people in the North West Durham area, that will help us understand issues and priorities that we can then apply alongside clinical criteria and the views of our consultants, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to come up with options to deliver services that are fit for the future and meet the needs of local people.

"I would urge people to have their say by either visiting our website or attending one of our public engagement sessions which have been arranged across the area.

"That feedback will help us to propose a number of options that we can then go out to formal public consultation on later this year."

For further information visit

Published 27th March 2019


'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital