County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust places cookies on your computer to improve our website. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor and are all anonymous.� They are used to measure its performance and to provide enhancements to you while using the site. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our privacy policy. Close
Default Sitemap


Older Persons Urgent Assessment Service and COPE Service

The older persons urgent assessment services based at Shotley Bridge Community Hospital and the Chester-le-Street Community Hospital based COPE service - community older persons excellence service are part of County Durham and Darlington Community Health Services.

They provide older persons assessment as part of a multi-disciplinary team approach, providing a high standard of medical and nursing care in order to maintain patients in their own home enabling pre-crisis intervention and preventing the need for emergency care.

The aim is to enable patients to cope better at home, avoiding unnecessary admissions. It allows health care professionals easy access to an alternative to an emergency admission and deliver better health for older people.

The service has immediate access to a comprehensive range of diagnostics including blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, us scans, 24 hour tapes and 24 hour blood pressure monitoring, echos and spirometry.

The clinic will see urgent patients in 2 working days.

Referrals to the service can be made for a range of reasons including:

  • Unexplained deterioration in a patients condition
  • Unexplained functional deterioration in patients with chronic medical problems
  • Frail elderly with functional decline in activities of daily living
  • Patients requiring urgent multi disciplinary assessment including medical assessment to prevent acute admission to hospital
  • Younger adults (over 18) with complex and/or long term conditions who are likely to respond to simple interventions e.g. nebulisers, restoration of blood sugar levels.

The list above is not exhaustive.

Exclusion criteria:

  • Patients who need 999 emergency intervention
  • Patients who require acute mental illness intervention

Service Information


The service is available Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, excluding bank holidays.

Referrals can be made 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

Referrals are accepted from the following health professionals

  • General practitioners
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Community matrons
  • Primary care practitioner
  • Acute physicians

Contact the Service.

Derwentside based older persons urgent assessment service.
Shotley Bridge Community Hospital.

Referrals can be made by telephone and information faxed.

  • Tel No: 01207 594459  (please ring if further discussion required)
  • Fax No: 01207 594457 (please confirm with the service receipt of referral)

Durham and Chester-le-Street community older persons assessment service.
Chester-le-Street Community Hospital.

Referrals can be made by telephone and information faxed.

  • Tel No: 0191 387 6400 (please ring if further discussion required)
  • Fax No: 0191 301 8537 (please confirm with the service receipt of referral)

The team include:

Dr Elizabeth Kendrick, GPwSI in older persons.
Dr Juliet Williams, GPwSI  in training.
Andrea Searle, specialist nurse in older persons and falls.

Intermediate Care Teams
Liz Boal, specialist service manager.

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital