It is a shame to hear that a local GP surgery is pulling out of its contract to provide emergency cover during the daytime at Alnwick Infirmary.
The Consulting Rooms GPs are under no obligation to provide the emergency service and want to spend more time and effort on looking after their registered patients, which is fair enough.
But we hope that care at the hospital does not suffer because of the change in contracts.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust now has six months to put a new service in place.
Let’s hope that this means patients will see a doctor quickly and will not have to be sent to Wansbeck instead.
We know that out-of-hours doctors cover a huge area and often have to travel from Newcastle to see a patient in north Northumberland. Hopefully this will not be the case with any new service or contract.
There will be fears that the change is the start of the end for the Infirmary but the Trust has given its word that that is not the case.
Let’s hope that they follow through with their assurances.