THE overnight urgent care facility at Hexham General Hospital is struggling due to lack of staff, it was revealed this week.

Following concerns from the public about whether the service had been fully reopened, as claimed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the trust had to admit on Wednesday that finding staff to cover the urgent care centre between the hours of 10pm and 8am was causing problems.

The trust announced last month that the service had been reinstated, with changes, after being closed since August.

But following this week’s revelation, health bosses said they were still committed to trying to find a solution to ensure a 24-hour service remained.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We continue to struggle with regards to staffing the urgent care service overnight. We try our hardest every day to make sure the service is the best it can be, but find staffing an ongoing challenge. Patients needing advice and treatment should always ring NHS 111 which will advise as to the best place to access treatment.”

The trust reiterated that ringing 111 was necessary in all cases.