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£9m funding confirmed for Middlesbrough Urgent Treatment Centre

Middlesbrough patients are set to benefit from a £9m investment in health services that will see a new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) built next to the Emergency Department at The James Cook University Hospital.

The investment is part of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board's (ICB) ambition to improve urgent care in the South Tees area, delivering care closer to patients' homes and will help to ease pressure on the hospital's busy Emergency Department.

As part of the plans, the GP Out of Hours Service will move from North Ormesby to the new UTC building and the opening hours at Redcar's UTC will be extended from April 2024.

An 11-week programme of patient engagement on the proposals to introduce an integrated urgent care model at James Cook took place in August 2022, with 83% of people in favour of the plans.

The final phase of the plans will see a procurement exercise take place to determine which provider will deliver the service from the hospital, which is based on Marton Road.

When built, the new UTC facility will provide clinical and treatment rooms, waiting areas, staff facilities, a triage and reception area. 

It will help to ease pressure on the already overstretched Emergency Department at James Cook, ensuring patients are seen in the right place according to their clinical need.

Currently, every year approximately 20,000 people are accessing urgent care at the James Cook Emergency Department or travelling to Redcar UTC.  The new UTC in Middlesbrough will ensure those people access services in the right place according to their needs, ensuring that the Emergency Department can focus on the most poorly patients.

The Middlesbrough UTC is expected to be open in March 2024, with construction work due to start in October this year.

Craig Blair, Director of Place (Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland) for the North East and North Cumbria ICB said: "It is fantastic news that Middlesbrough will soon have its own integrated Urgent Treatment Centre and along with extended opening hours at Redcar it brings the South Tees area in line with urgent care services across Teesside, so we are offering patients a consistent level of service.

"We are looking forward to seeing building work progressing on the site and in the meantime will focus on our procurement exercise to find a suitable provider that can run the service from the James Cook site.

"There is strong clinical evidence to support the integration of urgent care alongside secondary care services such as those delivered at James Cook, so this is fantastic news for Middlesbrough patients who will see a number of services delivered from the same site 365 days a year, with a 24/7 GP presence."

Andy Hebron, Clinical Director for the Emergency Department at James Cook said: “Having an Urgent Treatment Centre on site at James Cook will help ensure more patients from the Middlesbrough area are treated in the right place for their needs while helping ensure our emergency department is kept free for emergencies.

“Patients should continue to contact their GP or 111 for their non-urgent health issues, but if they have a minor illness or injury that needs attention both Redcar and Middlesbrough UTCs will be available to help which can only be good news for everyone.”

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